Hungarian lawmakers on Wednesday approved legislation ratifying the EU’s 2021-2027 budget framework and post-pandemic recovery package, with 170 votes in favour and zero votes against.
According to the justification of the bill submitted by the finance minister, ratification is a requirement for the EU to draw a record €750 billion loan for the recovery package in the financial markets and a prerequisite for launching the EU’s Recovery and Resilience financing programme.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who is set to face a tough election in early 2022 based on current opinion polls, has also used public spending to strengthen a loyal business elite, partly using billions of euros worth of EU funds.
The government projects 4.3% economic growth this year, while the central bank said it could even be close to 6%, helped by an expansionary state budget both this year and the next.
Hungary, as the only EU country to have approved and deployed Russian and Chinese vaccines before the jabs were approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has already vaccinated over half of its 10 million citizens and has reopened most of the economy.(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)