Hungary’s government decided earlier that European Union credit available in the framework of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) didn’t dovetail with national targets, state secretary for EU developments Szabolcs Ágostházy said in an interview published in Monday’s issue of business daily Világgazdaság.
When Hungary submitted its RRF plan to Brussels about a week earlier, Ágostházy said the country would use the grant money available but would not call down RRF credit “for the time being”.
“We had planned development programmes earlier in the framework of drawing down larger amounts of credit. During that time, as we negotiated with the European Commission, it became more and more clear that the credit products offered by the EU did not fit seamlessly with achieving the goals of the Hungarian government,” Ágostházy told Világgazdaság.
He acknowledged that the RRF credit was “relatively cheap” but said the cost of borrowing wasn’t the disadvantage, rather the “sectoral orientation and the timing for utilisation” of the credit.
He noted that other EU member states had taken similar positions on the matter, adding that just five planned to tap the credit, in part or in whole.
“It wasn’t a political decision but a purely policy one that the government took after the Prime Minister’s Office and the Finance Ministry scrutinised the conditions of the RRF credit together. We determined that this is not the most suitable resource for implementing national goals at present,” Ágostházy said.
“This decision was taken already a few days before the prime minister’s visit to Brussels, when Viktor Orbán personally informed [European Commission President] Ursula von der Leyen [about the matter],” he added.