The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has called on the government to spend around 2,000 billion forints (EUR 5.7bn) of European Union funding made available to combat the novel coronavirus epidemic on the Hungarian people. DK MEP Klára Dobrev told an online press conference that Hungest Hotels was planning mass lay-offs because it was starting a hotel refurbishment scheme. The hotel chain owned by Opus Global, a holding company linked to Lőrinc Mészáros, a businessman close to the Hungarian prime minister, will lay off more than 50% of employees, she said. “We have always been told that the reason Mészáros, István Tiborcz and István Garancsi [businesspeople close to the prime minister] were getting the largest part of EU support was to build a class of national capitalists” who would help the Hungarian people in times of trouble. “There is trouble now, and Lőrinc Mészáros is among the first to leave the sinking ship and abandon thousands of workers,” Dobrev said.
Meanwhile, János Kendernay, co-leader of green opposition LMP, said the government should divert unspent EU funds towards aiding struggling small and medium-sized businesses and their employees.