Budapest, December 17 (MTI) – Reducing European Union funds for Hungary as an act of revenge for disputes over the migrant crisis would be “unacceptable”, Hungary’s foreign minister said on Thursday.
Peter Szijjarto responded to an interview given by Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann to German daily Die Welt in which he said that EU member states who receive more money from the central budget than they contribute “should not simply look away” when it comes to the redistribution of migrants across the bloc. “Solidarity is not a one-way street,” the chancellor said.
Faymann said member states who refuse to take in refugees “put the entire EU budget in question” and make it more difficult for net contributors, including Austria, to continue paying the amount they pay.
The chancellor said that when the EU budget is reviewed next year, “we will look exactly at which countries have behaved particularly disruptively in the refugee issue.”
Szijjarto said: “If there is a stance that goes against common European values and rules then this is it.” The minister said Faymann “misunderstands” the function of EU funds. The funds are not “handouts or humanitarian aid” but money to which member states, including central European ones, are entitled, he said.
The minister said western European nations made “huge profits” on Hungary’s opening up its market to the west, meaning that older EU member states have just as much to gain from central European countries’ EU membership as the central European countries themselves.