Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi expressed his doubts about the government’s negotiations on EU funds at an online press conference in Brussels, saying Brussels “is used to Orbán’s fighting tactics, they will not believe everything they hear”.
The MSZP MEP stressed that it is still not possible to know exactly what commitments the Hungarian government has made to the European Union in order to successfully draw down the funds, as the details are being kept secret. “This government can easily resort to foul play and submit a proposal which the European Union takes note of with satisfaction, then nothing is implemented, perhaps it is watered down, and no real steps are taken to combat corruption and rebuild the rule of law,” the Social Democrat MEP said, arguing in support of his reservations.
Ujhelyi said that in the current situation, Hungary and Hungarian society need every single cent of aid “like a loaf of bread”. He added that the Orbán regime has so far spent EU funds mostly on enriching its own oligarchic circles, and therefore it is in the best interest of society that EU funds are spent in the future on what the EU actually gives them for. According to Ujhelyi, the government’s public commitment to set up an independent anti-corruption authority is in fact a clear and unequivocal admission that “it is not Soros or the prevention of sex-change operations” but the extent of state corruption that has been holding back the money we are owed. The Socialist MEP questioned the independence of the anti-corruption body to be set up, saying that the president of the republic, the constitutional court, the prosecutor general or the media council are “only on paper” independent of the current administration.
“Even if the rule of law procedure is eventually suspended, or even if the content of the partnership agreement for the next seven-year budget is adopted, it is certain that there will be some withheld resources. And if Hungary loses a single euro cent because of government corruption, someone will have to be held responsible. And it is not the European Union that is shedding light on the crimes, but the one who created this system. Viktor Orbán created its rules and he and his entourage are its biggest beneficiaries”, said István Ujhelyi, adding that in order for Hungary to finally receive every single euro of funding, the “system” must change, and for this to happen, he said, Tibor Navracsics’ series of negotiations or Judit Varga’s “sabre-rattling” are not enough.
Brussels/Budapest – 7/9/2022