Hungary: 495 million euros to make Orbán toe the line

23 February 2012 – Presseurop Magyar Hírlap, Magyar Nemzet
Magyar Hírlap, 23 February 2012

“The 500 million euro threat”: Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap devotes its front page to a proposal officially issued by Brussels on 22 February to suspend EU Cohesion Fund payments to Hungarian regions starting 2013.

EU member states will be called on to endorse the freezing of 495 million euros this March: a decision that aims to punish Budapest for “insufficient” efforts to reduce its budget deficit.

For the conservative daily, which is close to the Orbán government -

The decision is unjust because it does not take into consideration efforts already made by the country in its drive to reduce the deficit.

For its part, another right-wing daily, Magyar Nemzet, voices concern and indignation -

This has gone beyond a joke. The game has taken a serious turn. We have grown used to attempts to undermine our international reputation in Brussels and Strasbourg, but now the fact that European grants are at stake could compromise the future of this country […] This is not one of those endless campaigns to discredit our country. The Commission has crossed the Rubicon. Today it is not just a matter of the fate of the Orbán government which Brussels wants to bring to its knees. This decision will directly affect the daily lives of Hungarians […] and it presents Europe as a Union whose leaders hold its citizens in contempt.