Minister of the Cabinet Gergely Gulyás, with a cynical half-smile under his moustache, said at the recent Cabinet meeting that although he would „build a marble palace” on my credibility, he doubted whether there were any Hungarian farmers who would ask me for help with the backlog of EU agricultural tenders. Well, my dear Fidesz members, sometimes it is time to get out from behind the cordons surrounding the Carmelite.
As is known, at my press conference last week, following up on a request from the Esély (Chance) Circles in the Nyírség region and local farmers who are in contact with them I pointed out that, although agricultural development funds are available without any disruption, the government is still sneaking around with the calls for tenders. The reason for this is presumably that they do not want to make heavy co-payments for the time being because of the pressing budget deficit.
According to the minister’s statement at the Government Info session, this is not true, as everything is in order, there is nothing to see here. I have to say that Minister Gulyás is still quite excellent as a stand-up comedian, and I am sorry that he has to regularly tell the stupid lies that are concocted in the NER propaganda factory. He is much more than that. That said, the sarcasm of Minister Gulyás was rather ineffective, as he did not refute any of my previous statements (how could he?), which is tantamount to an admission.
The Cabinet Minister confirmed at the Government Briefing that agricultural funds are arriving in Hungary unhindered, and are indeed not affected by the rule of law debate on cohesion funds. (At least now we got that straight; so far the government has not been so factual and straightforward on this issue either) Gulyás stressed that the Fidesz government has „set the highest possible level of national supplementary funding for these 7 years”, that these funds are secured in the budget and are paid year on year; this amounts (or more precisely would amount) to HUF 600-700 billion in state budget contributions per year.
Mr Gulyás, however, is unnecessarily diverting: no one has questioned the fact that the government has committed to paying the state’s own contribution and it is very nice that the highest possible level has been set for this, but the problem is that, for the time being, it is mostly on paper.
Land-based subsidies are, of course, coming in and are reaching the people concerned, but the tenders that can be launched on the basis of the strategic plan approved at the beginning of November last year are still not being launched, and the few agricultural calls for proposals that are still open all relate to the previous budget cycle. I might add that there are farmers (there really are, dear Gergely) who have complained to me that the Hungarian state has not even decided on a previous-cycle application submitted last June, and that the deadline is now running out. The best part is that, despite Minister Gulyás’s bogus deflection, a government official recently admitted at a conference in Kecskemét that there may not be any new development tenders this year. Bam.
After the Hungarian Prime Minister’s landmark 2014 speech in Tusványos, in which he proclaimed the illiberal state, I vowed that as an MEP I would write an open letter every week to warn the public of the crimes of the system that had been established. I am ringing the bells of alarm for the 404th time and will continue to do so tirelessly for as long as it is necessary. Because we must give our common country a new chance.
MEP István Ujhelyi
Member of the European Parliament / Founder of the Community of Chance