ORBÁN GIVES UP FIGHT IN BRUSSELS, BUT STILL DOES NOT GET BLANK CHEQUE, SAYS UJHELYI

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IMG_FC51E21D1426-1The agreements with the European Commission will be reached soon, and this will be the clear victory of European values and interests, and along these lines the clear victory of Hungarian society and the clear defeat of the Orbán regime – this is how István Ujhelyi assessed the current state of the negotiations on EU funds at an online press conference on Thursday. According to the Social Democrat MEP, events will accelerate in the coming days and Brussels and the Hungarian government are expected to sign the necessary agreements. At the same time, Ujhelyi also warned that the Orbán government will not receive a blank cheque, meaning that the funds can only be drawn if the commitments made to Brussels can be proven to have been fulfilled.
For twelve years the Orbán regime has been arrogant and belligerent, and now we find that they are on their knees begging for what is due to us, so that we can get the money that can be drawn from the European system of cooperation and aid; the Hungarian MEP said. He added that twelve years of failed governance have resulted in a weak forint, rocketing inflation, spiraling prices and rising utility bills, while the empty coffers have made the government realize that it must reach a deal with the European Community on the rule of law and corruption criticisms. According to Ujhelyi, although the government’s success propaganda will celebrate the agreements with the EU as a victory, in reality it will be “our victory”, as the European Commission has achieved results and amendments on all the rule of law issues on which the current opposition has been sounding the alarm bell for a long time.
The founder of the Community of Chance also said at the online press conference that EU finance ministers will meet on 6 December and it is expected to be decided at this meeting whether Hungary will be able to access the so-called Recovery Fund, which has a budget of around 6,000 billion forints. Ujhelyi pointed out that 2,300 billion forints of this amount is non-refundable aid, of which 70 percent will be automatically lost if a detailed contract is not concluded by the end of this year. The MEP added that the so-called rule of law mechanism is running in parallel, with thousands of billions of forints of additional funds frozen from the multi-annual financial framework. Ujhelyi said an agreement was also near on this, but it is important to know that the European Commission will continuously monitor the fulfillment of the commitments made by the government and if they are not respected, the money we are owed will still not arrive.
“After twelve years, the EU institutions and the opposition MEPs have achieved unprecedented results, as we have taken action to ensure that Hungary receives the funds it is entitled to, but that they are not used for the benefit of Orbán and his mates, but that of Hungarian society”; Ujhelyi said, as an example, citing the teacher career model and the increase in teachers salaries, which was not yet included in the original government programme, but thanks to pressure from the EU, among others, the rewritten document already contains commitments in this regard.

Brussels/Budapest – 10/11/2022