Internal Affairs / Where has all the money from the EU budget gone?

Where has all the money from the EU budget gone?

The European Commission must answer very serious questions at the meeting of the European Council. They must tell us where all the money from the EU budget has gone, and who is responsible for the fact that, upon the passage of just 2.5 to 3 years, financially the European Union has been effectively driven to the verge of bankruptcy, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’ on Friday.

He added that “there is a chaotic financial package” planned as the Commission would give Ukraine approximately EUR 50 billion despite the fact that there is no way of knowing what the EUR 70 billion given to Ukraine so far has been spent on, and why it has not been enough.

Additionally, he continued, the Commission is now asking for an extra contribution of EUR 18 or 19 billion to the increased interest burden of the recovery facility created with a view to countering the negative effects of the Covid pandemic, notwithstanding the fact that the Hungarians and the Polish have not yet received a penny of this facility so far. He indicated that there is a further significant item the Commission is seeking to allocate in order to facilitate the arrival of migrants in Europe, and they are also asking for a few billion euros so that they can raise their own salaries, whilst demanding that Hungary do away with the reduction of household energy bills.

“Meaning that the Hungarian people should pay more for their energy bills at home, but we should send them more money so that they have higher salaries. This whole thing is so absurd that it evidently makes the blood of not only a Hungarian, but also of the leader of almost every EU Member State boil,” he said.

Mr Orbán takes the view that there is almost zero chance of the leaders of EU Member States accepting the proposals made by the European Commission for the amendment of the budget.

The Prime Minister stressed that “no one came to the meeting of the European Council in order to give more money for the salaries of the European Union’s bureaucrats, instead of their families and citizens at home who find themselves in a difficult situation.”

He added that, in the absence of an agreement, an extended battle will commence; the European Commission will prepare a new proposal and “will try to buy the Member States’ votes one by one.”

One thing is clear: we Hungarians are unable to accept the elimination of the reduction of household energy bills, we will not give any more money to raise the bureaucrats’ salaries, we will not give Ukraine any more money until they tell us what has happened to the EUR 70 billion we gave them earlier, and we find the request that we should give extra money for the increased interest on a loan from which we have never received the amount we are entitled to absolutely pathetic, absurd and beyond the realms of possibility, the Prime Minister said.

He stressed that we needed a ceasefire and peace talks for the conclusion of the war in Ukraine.

Mr Orbán said within the European Union there are two schools regarding the way the war in Ukraine is seen: the “big ones” say that we must continue on the present path, the concept that the Russians can be defeated with Ukrainian soldiers and with western money and equipment is working.

He added that he alone represented a different position in contrast to this. A year and a half has gone by, we have done what we have done; the result is zero, or even negative. We have not defeated Russia, the Russian political leadership remains in place, the Russian economy says it is fine, thank you very much; compared with that, we are suffering from high inflation, we no longer have money to support the Ukrainians, it is evident that the counteroffensive that the Ukrainians have launched is making slow progress, and it is questionable whether we can attach any hopes to it, the Prime Minister said, evaluating the situation.

An inordinate number of people have died, even more people will die, the destruction, human pain and suffering we are observing in Ukraine are inconceivable, and so we must resort to every possible means in order to achieve a ceasefire and peace talks, Mr Orbán stated.

He said if we have any means, be those financial or political, we should use them to guide us towards peace. However, the EU is not doing that yet, the Prime Minister added, taking the view that at an EU level “we’re at the limit of our capacity.”

He said he is concerned that they have given our money to Ukraine, “for a war that should never have happened in the first place.”

Mr Orbán stressed that “European citizens have every reason to rebel” due to the fact that amidst their economic hardships, “enormous amounts of money are flowing out, and at that, in an uncontrolled manner, from the territory of the European Union.” Meanwhile, bureaucrats in Brussels are laying plans for “taking out loans and using that money, too, for the wrong purposes,” meaning that “they are driving the Member States into a long-lasting debt trap, involving high interest payment liabilities.”

The European Union wants to oblige Hungary to create “migrant ghettos,” and to take in as many as tens of thousands of migrants every year,” Mr Orbán said.

The Prime Minister stressed that the government will fight against this, and has no intention of implementing such a measure. He laid down: this is a decision “that takes our own country away from us.”

He also said Hungary and Poland voted against the decision, while several countries opted for abstention, amounting to “a soft no.”

Mr Orbán described the procedure, as part of which the decision on the migrant quota system was pushed through “in a coup-like manner” in the council of internal ministers, as shocking. He reminded listeners of the earlier agreement, based on which the EU would only decide on migration unanimously.

The Soros network may well be behind the decision, at the helm of which “there has been a change of guards,” and the new generation is more political, the Prime Minister said with reference to the fact that George Soros has handed over control of his network of NGOs to his son.

He also outlined Hungary and Poland’s proposal, involving stringent border controls. However, the European Union is not receptive to this solution. The reason for this being, he said, that there are countries which confuse the regulations concerning guest workers with migration in the hope that they might be able to obtain qualified work force. “I keep telling them that I saw the hordes crossing Hungary. They will not yield any diligent working hands for German industry,” he said.

Elsewhere, under ideological pressure, they believe that there is no need for state borders, he said in continuation. “I tell them: ‘But they will kill your citizens. There are acts of terrorism,” he added.

In Hungary last year, in total, forty-five migrant applications were submitted, the Prime Minister pointed out. He also said Hungary had made many sacrifices in the interest of protecting its borders: so far we have spent some EUR 2 billion, the equivalent of around HUF 800 billion on this.

He said the system of external hotspots that we introduced could also be implemented on a European level. Under this system, applications must be submitted outside the territory of the European Union, and only those may enter the European Union whose applications have been granted.

He stressed that Hungary additionally helps the regions and countries from which migrants are coming as “rather than bringing trouble to Europe, help must be taken where there is trouble,” he said. He spoke about the grants provided for the Sahel region.

Mr Orbán said the war and the flawed sanctions introduced in response thereto have raised energy prices. This affected Hungary especially badly as, for the time being, it imports most of its energy from abroad, he said.

He highlighted that “from the very first moment, we have been fighting against the price rises caused by inflation” because “what we’re doing is knocking inflation down.” Meaning that “we must act proactively and must help people, we must adopt decisions which reduce inflation, which knock inflation down,” he said.

He said they have pledged to reduce inflation to a single digit by the end of the year. When he announced this, “I was the laughing stock of both economists and left-wing politicians, they said this was impossible,” he recalled.

He stressed that the government had not given up, and one by one was adopting decisions which were designed to bring inflation down. This is already perceivable, the measures they have adopted so far are bringing inflation down, and there is a good chance that at around mid-year, at the beginning of the second half of the year, sometime in July or August, the rise in wages will be higher than the rise in prices, he explained.

He added that by the end of the year we may perhaps achieve that looking at the year as a whole, people will not have sustained losses, “we will see whether this feat will succeed; it would be an enormous feat because most European countries have failed in their attempts.”

He said he would like the economy to start growing again next year in consequence of the measures adopted, and to make things easier for families as well.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the fact that the goals of the economy protection action plan were to protect jobs and to preserve the value of pensions and family grants.

He said in Hungary we have built a workfare economy, and today it is practically impossible to find available work force. Protecting jobs is the key to everything, “if people have jobs, then there will be a solution to every problem,” he underlined.

He also said the value of pensions must be protected, pensions must be raised at least by the rate of inflation, and they are also fighting to keep the 13th monthly pension and to continuously increase it by the rate of inflation.

He highlighted that the value of family grants, too, must be preserved. In this department, the government was required to make some changes because “it has been revealed that some things work, while others don’t.”

“Naturally, this year is taking its toll on us, but in the end we will come out stronger than we were going in,” Mr Orbán stressed.


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