EU: Poland opposes any move aimed at depriving Hungary of European funds

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EU: Poland opposes any move aimed at depriving Hungary of European funds

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Poland assured Sunday that ;it will oppose “any move” by Brussels to deprive Hungary of 7.5 billion euros in EU funding due to corruption risks in that country.

The European Commission pointed out on Sunday irregularities and shortcomings in the Hungarian procedures for awarding public contracts, the abnormally high proportion of unique applications for these contracts, as well as the lack of control of conflicts of interest and legal proceedings in case suspicion of fraud.

Poland will oppose with all its might any move by the European institutions aimed at depriving a member country of funds, in this case Hungary, in an absolutely unauthorized way, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a press briefing.

The head of the Polish nationalist-populist government, also in conflict with Brussels, which accuses him of not respecting the rule of law, recalled that his Hungarian counterpart and ally Viktor Orban had already prepared a draft agreement with the European Commission.

The Commission gave Budapest a few weeks to carry out reforms.

The EU executive has suggested to the Council, the institution representing the Member States which is responsible for the final decision, to suspend 65% of the funds of three programs linked to cohesion policy, which represents 7.5 billion euros. euros.

Brussels had launched in April against Hungary a procedure never used until then, which can lead to the suspension of European funding when their use is threatened by attacks on the principles of the rule of law.

The EU has frozen 14.5 billion assets of Russian figures as part of sanctions adopted in response to the war in Ukraine, but several countries, including Hungary, have not contributed to the freeze. #x27;effort, said a European commissioner on Sunday.

We must put very strong pressure on Hungary, because we can assume that its very close links with Russia may prevent it from acting, declared the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, in an interview with the LCI television channel.

Hungary has frozen just over 3,000 euros of Russian assets, he said.

The European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders.

Nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban has forged close ties with Russian President Vladmir Putin in recent years and this collaboration has been maintained despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The 14.5 billion euros in Russian assets frozen by Europe is already significant, but of this sum 90% is made by six member states, explained the commissioner, acknowledging that there was a tremendous amount of work to be done with other [states] who either froze nothing or released nothing.

Among the six most active countries, France froze just over a billion euros in assets and Belgium 3.5 billion. Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland and Austria are also among the good performers, according to Didier Reynders.

We continue to work to demand that all Member States are putting the same tools in place to reach assets, not just bank accounts, yachts, residences, but all assets, stressed the European Commissioner, referring to the difficulty of having access to cryptocurrencies and to digital artworks.

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