Election 2018 – Leftist PM candidate pledges to review spending of EU funds
If the opposition Socialists-Párbeszéd alliance forms the government after the April 8 parliamentary election, it will immediately suspend the payment of European Union funds and review each winning bid, the PM candidate of the two parties said on Sunday.
“Today over half of EU funding is getting stolen in Hungary while the other half is being spent on silly projects,” Gergely Karácsony told a press conference in Budapest.
“We’ve had enough of light railways, fountains, horse-wellness and vanity projects in Hungary, and we’ve had enough of funds being distributed for projects among the cronies of ruling Fidesz,” he said.
Karácsony pledged to direct EU funds towards improving energy efficiency and social security, and reforming health-care and education.
He also pledged to set up an authority to investigate and prosecute corruption.
During the next EU budgetary period starting in 2020, he said they would seek to win significant funding to develop “human resources” in central and eastern Europe.
István Ujhelyi, a Socialist MEP, said their important task would be to repair Hungary’s relations with the EU and join the new EU Public Prosecutor’s office.
Fidesz in response said it would best serve the interests of Hungarians if politicians of the Hungarian left refrained from supporting proposals submitted to the European Parliament on cutting EU development funding for anti-migration countries, such as Hungary.
“If Karácsony means indeed what he said, he would not have made an alliance with the Socialists who are responsible for the largest-scale misappropriation of EU funds, they have stolen one-third of the Budapest 4th metro line construction project’s funds,” the party said in a statement.