EU funds to support redundant Tungsram workers available, but Orbán-government does not claim them

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 “Hungary is not going forward, it is going bankrupt”; said MEP István Ujhelyi in his online press conference on Wednesday. According to the MSZP politician, the government is helpless and insensitive as it watches the situation caused by the crises threaten the livelihood security of families and as the record-high euro exchange rate and inflation push the lowest income earners into a subsistence crisis. Ujhelyi pointed out that the government is also standing idly by as some 1,800 people are set to be made redundant from Tungsram’s Hungarian factories by the end of the year, with news of another 200 people being laid off in Újpest alone. At the press conference, the Social Democrat MEP said that in such cases, the “European Globalisation Adjustment Fund” could be used to provide substantial support for retraining, wage supplements or even to help the redundant workers start their own businesses, but that the government of the Member State concerned would have to apply for this and contribute around 15 per cent of the costs.
Ujhelyi said that the two-day plenary session of the European Parliament, which starts on Wednesday, will decide on two similar requests: the French government has asked for €20 million to help workers made redundant in the AirFrance group redundancies and the Greek government has asked for €2 million from the Globalisation Fund to provide temporary support for more than 200 workers made redundant in an electrical industry plant. The MSZP MEP stressed that in the last twelve years, the Hungarian government has never once called on EU aid from this fund, which amounts to hundreds of millions of euros. “The government is alibi-ing and fooling around with Tungsram and the trade unions, but it is not providing any real help: it is incomprehensible that they are not even asking for this particular EU money”; István Ujhelyi said. The left-wing MEP added that he had consulted with the relevant experts of the European Commission, who confirmed that only the Hungarian government can submit an application for support, which is expected in Brussels, as the Tungsram case fits perfectly into the framework of the fund. Ujhelyi also said that he and MP Imre Komjáthi had previously written to the Ministry of Technology and Industry concerned about the use of the EU fund, but had not yet received any reply. “It seems that the government is more interested in getting orders for the oligarchs around NER (Orbán’s so-called National Cooperation System) and exempting them from extra burdens than in ensuring the health and security of the Hungarian people”; the MSZP politician said.

Brussels/Budapest – 22/06/2022