Vienna, March 22 (MTI) – Commenting on Austrian plans to reduce benefits for foreign workers, Zoltán Balog, Hungary’s minister for human resources, told Austrian public television that a European Union member state was obliged to agree with other EU members before enacting measures that are detrimental to citizens of the bloc.
“Even if a country is dissatisfied, it cannot act unilaterally and must come to an agreement with the other member states,” he told ORF. “Austria agreed to ensuring equal treatment within the EU, and if the system works appropriately within EU law then it must not be changed,” he added.
Earlier in March Balog told Austrian family and youth minister Sophie Karmasin that the Hungarian government rejects Austria’s plan to reduce family benefits of foreign workers, including Hungarians.
Austria is looking to reduce the subsidies of Hungarian, Czech and Romanian employees working in Austria to the amount they would be entitled to in their own countries.
This would mean at least 50 percent reduction for Hungarians, which is unacceptable, Balog said, adding that current EU regulations and equal rights should apply in this case.
In response to a question, Balog told ORF late on Tuesday that Hungary considered Austria’s move unfriendly to Hungary.