Friday 20 November 2020 12:06 pm

Hungary says EU recovery fund spat will be resolved

Hungary’s Prime Minister has said a dispute over the EU’s €750bn (£670bn) coronavirus recovery fund and budget can be solved, after his government and Poland’s blocked the package at a key meeting.

Both Hungary and Poland voted against measures that would allow the €1.8 trillion 2021-2027 budget and recovery fund to become operational, even though they stand to benefit.

Read more: Hungary and Poland veto EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund

They object to rules that say countries have to respect the “rule of law” to access the funds.

Other EU nations have long accused the nationalist governments in both countries of undermining the independence of the media and courts.

However, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orvab told state radio today that there will be an agreement “in the end”.

“The talks should be continued and in the end we will come to an agreement, that’s how this usually goes,” he said.

A number of compromises would be “acceptable to Hungary and Poland,” he said. However he did not provide details.

Many in the EU fear that the blockage to the recovery fund will hit the bloc’s economies.

Countries across Europe have reinstated lockdown measures in response to surging coronavirus cases. 

Yesterday, European Central Bank (ECB) president Christine Lagarde said the package “must become operational without delay”.

Read more: ECB’s Lagarde: EU must release Covid recovery funds ‘without delay’

She told the European Parliament: “The euro area economy is expected to be severely affected by the fallout from the rapid increase in infections and the reinstatement of containment measures.”

She said this posed “a clear downside risk to the near-term economic outlook”.