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EU budget draft unveiled

May 4th, 2018

A pro-government commentator finds a plan by Brussels to punish Hungary through budget cuts outrageous. A left-wing columnist predicts that Hungary will pay a high price for PM Orbán’s disputes with the EU.

In its guidelines to the draft budget of the EU for 2021-2027 released on Wednesday, the European Commission suggested a clause to suspend cohesion fund payments in case of violation of basic democratic rights or suspicion of corruption. Such decisions would require a super-majority vote of the member states. Another important development for Hungary in the draft is a planned significant cut in agricultural subsidies.

Magyar Idők’s Zsolt Bayer finds the draft proposal outrageous. The pro-government columnist likens the EU to a colonial empire that wants to discipline peripheral countries which try to pursue their own interests. Bayer also hints that the draft budget follows the desire of George Soros to punish Hungary for its unwillingness to take in ‘masses of immigrants’. Bayer, however, thinks that the cuts will do most harm to Western companies which have been the main beneficiaries of EU cohesion funds.

In Népszava, Gábor Horváth writes that Hungary will pay a high price for PM Orbán’s policies. The left-wing commentator interprets the stance of the Commission as an expression of the fact that the EU has had enough of what he calls ‘corruption, the violation of basic democratic rights and anti-EU policies’, and now wants to take revenge on Hungary. In conclusion, Horváth suggests that the Hungarian government cannot hope to win the battle with the much more powerful EU.

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