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Socialists: EU fund freeze not triggered by paedophilia law

The European Union's freezing reconstruction funds for Hungary is "not connected in any way" to the country's passing anti-paedophilia legislation, Socialist MEP Istvan Ujhelyi said on Wednesday.

Ujhelyi quoted Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as saying on Tuesday that the EU had, “in cooperation with the LGBTQ movements, attacked the so-called child-protection law”, adding that Orbán was “lying”.

Ujhelyi insisted that the contested legislation was “nothing but provocation, passed to provide an excuse for disputes with EU institutions and an explanation for their freezing community funding”.

In recent months, the EU has withheld some 320 billion forints (EUR 869m) from Hungary, as the European Commission has not approved the country’s reconstruction plan, Ujhelyi said, pledging to have those funds released once a new government was set up.

Ujhelyi warned that development funds for Hungary in the next EU budgeting cycle were “also in danger” in view of the EU’s possible application of a rule of law mechanism against Hungary in January.

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