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Freezing Hungary’s funds: Hahn warns Orbán

In the dispute over Hungary’s violations of the rule of law, the EU Commission is showing firmness. EU budget commissioner Johannes Hahn said in the “Standard” (Christmas edition) that the government in Budapest must meet 27 conditions in order to receive the billions in aid that have been suspended. “The money will not flow until all of these conditions are met,” Hahn says. The Brussels authority had previously announced that it would withhold all funds from the Cohesion Fund (€22 billion).

As one of the conditions, Hahn called the Hungarian anti-corruption authority’s “clear responsibilities” so that it could operate “directly and independently”. Han stressed that the funds will flow according to the principle of “pay after delivery”. He has no “illusions” about Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, but the country is under great economic pressure.

Now the principle of payment after delivery applies.

Last week, EU governments decided to release some of Hungary’s frozen funds. The government in Budapest saw this as a success. Hahn referred to the 5.8 billion euros in the EU Reconstruction Fund. But in this regard, “only the Hungary account was opened, but nothing was paid.” The loss of money to the country was prevented forever. “The principle of payment after delivery is now being applied,” Han insisted.

Prime Minister Orbán needs money for his economy, as inflation has risen to 26 percent. In addition, the national debt has skyrocketed and the forint has depreciated.

During his more than a decade in power, Orbán has already had numerous clashes with the European Union for violating the principles of liberal democracy in Hungary by restricting the rights of the media, academics, judges, NGOs, immigrants and LGBT people, according to the EU. Commission and many Member States affected.

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