Budapest, December 8 (MTI) – Hungary is still in talks with the European Commission on more than 600 billion forints (EUR 1.92bn) in European Union funding for the 2007-2013 period, state secretary Peter Beno Banai said on public television on Tuesday.
On Monday, a release by the economy ministry showed Hungary’s cashflow-based public finance deficit, excluding local councils, reached 970.7 billion forints at the end of November or 108.8 percent of the full-year target. The ministry noted that the deficit had reached just 713.7 billion forints in the base period and attributed the difference to “disparate developments” related to European Union funding. “Till now, the budget has transferred more than 500 billion forints of higher payments in the interest of ensuring the implementation of domestic developments and avoiding a possible loss of resources,” it explained.
Hungary’s government provided bridge financing from the budget for EU-supported projects during a suspension of EU funding between April and September. Brussels had suspended the funding because of problems with the selection process for projects.
Banai told news channel M1 on Tuesday that the better part of the talks on the funding could drag on into 2016, but would eventually end with a go-ahead for the transfer of the monies by next year, at the latest.
Under EU accounting rules, the funding can still be booked as revenue, even though it has not arrived, thus it will not impact the 2.4 percent of GDP deficit target for this year, he added.