EU chaos: Defiant Brussels could force Hungary and Poland OUT of bloc in budget stand-off

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Hungary and Poland sparked EU outrage this week after they vetoed the €1.8 trillion 2021-2027 budget and recovery fund. The two member-states vetoed the plan because access to the funds would be conditional upon respecting the rule of law. There is growing fury among EU leaders in Brussels at the “unacceptable” veto, amid claims Hungary and Poland could be stripped of their voting rights in the bloc.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to say whether one of the options being considered would be to threaten the two countries with taking away their voting rights.

The German Chancellor responded: “For me the word ‘threaten’ is not the right word in this context.

“We are obliged to try to find a way out. It’s a serious problem that we have to solve and we will work hard and earnestly on it.”

However, Financial Times’ Paris bureau chief Victor Mallet suggested that Brussels may go even further and force the two countries out of the bloc entirely.

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He told France 24: “If Hungary and Poland go against the rule of law, they won’t be welcome for much longer. Nobody wants them to leave, they want them to change their ways.”

The European Union has been in frequent clashes with both Poland and Hungary because of national policies the bloc has denounced as undermining the core values of the bloc.

Mr Mallet suggested that there could be a climbdown from Hungary and Poland by the next EU summit on December 10th.

He also suggested that the Poland and Hungary gameplan was to “block up the EU budget for a year, because they can wait that long, and that would put pressure on southern European countries, who can’t wait that long”.

The France 24 host questioned whether this was “an existential moment for the EU, not unlike Brexit”.

France 24’s Philip Turle responded by saying: “The behaviour of Poland and Hungary is unacceptable to Brussels.

“The EU does not want to lose those two countries but it’s also not willing to put up with two countries laying down the law and demanding equal treatment as other countries, who are respecting EU law.” 


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He added: “Poland and Hungary receive 5 percent of their GDP from Brussels, so they need the money.

“But, they don’t want to feel like they are being blackmailed by Brussels into changing their ways.”

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said a dispute over the EU’s coronavirus recovery fund and budget can be solved.

He told state radio on Friday that there will be an agreement “in the end”. 

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