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Hungary does not support the proposal to create a separate euro zone budget, as such a concept would be against the country’s interests, Finance Minister Mihály Varga was quoted as saying at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels. Varga told his EU colleagues that having a separate budget for the countries that share the common currency could present serious risks. A euro zone budget would unnecessarily deepen the existing divide between euro zone and non-euro zone members, he said. Varga said all EU member states had a duty to develop their economies, help the less advanced countries catch up with the more prosperous ones and promote innovation and R&D. But the passage of a joint euro zone budget would restrict non-euro zone countries from financing the bloc’s common goals.

The idea for a euro zone budget was proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in June after their meeting at Merkel’s Meseberg retreat outside Berlin. The creation of such a budget requires the backing of the other 17 euro zone countries. Several other countries, including the Netherlands and Finland have also expressed their opposition to the plan.