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Hungary “has not received any additional funding” from the European Union for measures in connection with the novel coronavirus epidemic, an innovation and technology ministry official said. Press reports and “the opposition’s claims” about the allocation of 2,000 billion forints (EUR 5.6bn) in extra funding are “false”, Zsigmond Perényi, the state secretary in charge of EU development, told public news channel M1. The 7-year EU budget figures have not changed since being set, which means no change in allocations in Hungary’s case either, he said.
EU rules allow for an advance payment of funding for a member state which must repay the portion of the funding it has not used, Perényi said. However, it has been decided that the advance allocation would not need to be paid back, which in this form qualifies as an interest-free loan, he said, adding that “this will certainly help other countries”. The loan will however have to be “accounted for” when the EU is closing its seven-year budget period, Perényi said.