Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s planned veto of the European Union’s next budget would deprive Hungary of at least 14,000 billion forints (EUR 39 bn) in community funding, “or that much money could be jeopardised”, Democratic Coalition head Ferenc Gyurcsány said on Friday.
Speaking at an online press conference, Gyurcsány said that the prime minister’s remarks made earlier in the day constituted a “declaration of war”, and insisted that Orbán “is thinking in terms of war rather than having straightforward talks, and he seeks to use his own nation as hostage”.
“Orbán is saying that if the EU wants to know how we spend its money or it wants to see if the Hungarian people are free in their everyday life, he will strike back at another point… this is called blackmail,” Gyurcsány said.
“The prime minister’s veto is in fact aimed at Hungarians rather than the EU,” Gyurcsány said, arguing that the economy, heavily impacted by the coronavirus epidemic, could not be revived without community funding.
Hungary would “not receive the EU development funds which have been the source of financing all investment projects (in Hungary) in the past seven years”, he insisted.
Gyurcsány warned that “the EU budget will continue somehow” and “the remaining 25 or 26 EU members will set up the coronavirus recovery fund in some form” but “Hungary will be left out”. “Hungarians will either march with Europe or face an end,” he said.
Ruling Fidesz said in response that “this war was started by [US financier George] Soros and Gyurcsány against Hungary, to enforce the settlement of migrants because the Hungarian people and the national government had said no to migration.”
Gyurcsány knows very well that by tying the payment of EU funds to political conditions Brussels wants to force Hungary let migrants enter the country, the party said in a statement. “Soros has given orders to Brussels not to give EU money to countries that refuse to let the migrants in,” it said.
If Gyurcsány and the Left were in power there would be no dispute about this issue “because they would easily let the migrants enter Hungary and make Hungary a migrant country”, Fidesz said.
The party said it firmly rejected any blackmail and was ready to defend Hungary in any debate.