Finance Minister Mihaly Varga – Photo: MTI

Finance Minister: Ecofin approves release of EU funds to Hungary

European Union finance ministers have approved Hungary's amended Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) plan, clearing another obstacle to the release of funds Hungary is entitled to, the finance minister said in Brussels on Friday.

Mihaly Varga told Hungarian journalists after an Ecofin meeting that this meant Hungary will get 3.9 billion euros of RRF loans and 0.7 billion euros of REPowerEU grants on top of a 5.8 billion euro grant.

Ecofin’s approval means that Hungary could receive an advance of 920 million euros in funding as early as January, Varga said.

He noted that the government had decided to allocate the RRF loans towards green transition investments, which 67.1 percent of the programme would be geared towards.

The minister expressed hope that Hungary will soon also gain access to the cohesion and recovery funds, saying the country had met every condition.

Meanwhile, Varga said the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU could not reach a compromise on the reform of the bloc’s economic governance. Hungary has always held the stance that it is national governments, and not the European Commission, who should be given more authority when it comes to fiscal policy.

He noted that Hungary had earlier proposed that a special set of regulations should be established for defence spending according to which extra spending on defence would not count towards the Maastricht deficit criteria. This, he added, had been incorporated into the planned economic governance reform package, demonstrating the government’s strong ability to enforce its interests.

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