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Photo: www.facebook.com/Orbán Viktor

“We do not wish to become indebted.” That is the Hungarian government’s official reasoning for why they have decided to forgo one part of the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility and only apply for a grant of 7.2 billion euros.

As Telex reports, this is a rather unexpected turn of events, as Hungary had previously revealed plans detailing what the entire amount of 16.6 billion euros that Hungary is eligible for would be spent on. The government’s official plan, submitted on the 12th of May, almost two weeks past the original deadline, will be assessed over the next two months to see if it complies with the European Union’s regulations. The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is the EU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic; however, its goals extend past managing the financial effects of COVID-19: it was conceived to provide the Member States with the means to undertake sustainable projects that serve the common good of European citizens. Consequently, plans must meet the requirements set out by the EU, for instance, that 37% of the funds received need to be dedicated to achieving climate goals and 20% to fostering the digital transition.

The sector to suffer the biggest loss following the government’s decision is education.

Hungarian universities were due to receive more than 3.3 billion euros from the RRF in an effort to modernise them. The idea was not without controversy, as we wrote here, since the government had established a number of private foundations to operate a large proportion of Hungarian universities, which the opposition saw as a tactic to funnel EU funds straight into the pocket of government allies. Now, without the loan, approximately 1.5 billion euros remain allocated for education-related projects in total. The most emphasis is placed on the development of the healthcare system, which is due to receive 34.1% of all funds, followed by 25% for the development of environmentally-friendly transport methods.

According to Népszava,

it could have been exactly the transfer of previously state-owned universities to private foundations that led to the government’s decision not to avail of the loan.

The announcement that Hungary would submit a different plan to the EU came one day after PM Orbán’s dinner with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Céline Gauer, Head of the Recovery and Resilience Task Force. According to an informant, Von der Leyen and Gauer had made it clear to the Prime Minister that they were most certainly unwilling to approve funding that would not be spent in a transparent way, as in the case of foundation-supported Hungarian universities.

As Telex points out, the government is not entirely opposed to loans: they seem very much willing to take on a Chinese loan of 1.2 billion euros in order to build Fudan University’s campus in Budapest.

fudan-university smapse
Read alsoChinese university instead of student quarter? Budapest resists

Source: telex.hu, nepszava.hu

4 comments
  1. All this means is that we become more dependent on China, as he’ll look elsewhere for funding. Look at the Fudan university.

    The truth is the EU doesn’t really work. They need a reshuffle of those in charge. Too many countries each having their own economies to look after. You can’t easily give blanket rules and expect everyone to abide by them. The Euro doesn’t work and that would be a huge mistake if it ever came here.

  2. Or it means that Viktor realized that his ploy to pocket the loans would get too close a look by a free and open EU so he decided better to stick with the Communist Chinese who already have him in their pocket?

  3. Speak out NOW citizens of Hungary.
    Use ALL communication tools available electronic and other – if YOU disagree with this Chinese Hungarian MARRIAGE – that this Government has committed it-self to – signed Hungary in a position that it has become beholding to China deepening in it’s Financial funding into Hungary – Speak Out.
    Norway & Australia prime examples of China’s attitude to contracts and trade agreements – there way or NO way.
    Internationally slowly countries are waking up to China – slowly, but severe damage is evident of China’s agenda and that is to control and manipulate country’s that it gets “into bed” with, like Hungary.
    Speak out – orderly calmly using DEMOCRACY as your life line – that gives you the right of expressing your opinion – a VOICE.
    Budapest, Hungary – is a target of the Chinese a junction point in fact of their plans of a new “silk road”.
    Hungary continual rail development as an example connecting Hungary and China – great distance YES but its Happening and in fact happening as I write freight and other bound for Hungary and distribution to other countries in Europe.
    Property market – housing and warehousing – over past (5) five years – who have been the LARGEST foreign investors into the Property Markets of Hungary ?
    Answer – the Chinese and it continues.
    Hungary – you have a MASSIVE decision to make and the longer you dismiss or ignore the Chinese “invasion” blessed and approved by your present Prime Minister and his Government, into your population, the greater damage, you will bear – in the coming 5 to 10 years and beyond.
    Social Media and other – talk about this – bounce ideas around about it what is Going On – this escalating and deepening -MARRIAGE – of China and Hungary – and commence controlled non-violent actions under Democracy to Have Your Say.
    National Elections May 2022 – the POWER of the Peoples/Citizens Vote.

  4. Yes Antiannon, I think you’re probably bang on actually! Either to pocket the loans or invest in companies belonging to his cronies! Both amount to the same!

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