Finance Minister Mihály Varga has urged the European Union to adopt quick, proportionate and fair measures as part of its management of the bloc’s coronavirus crisis.
The EU’s measures must place heavy emphasis on protecting jobs and supporting businesses and families, the ministry quoted Varga as saying during a videoconference with his EU counterparts. The ministers discussed, among other matters, unresolved issues in connection with the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) pan-European guarantee fund set up in response to the pandemic. The fund aims to use leverage to provide 200 billion euros in funding to European small and medium-sized businesses. Varga underlined the importance of providing loans to businesses, but pointed out the risk of having the fund’s guarantees provided from national budgets, citing a “geographical imbalance” when it came to the use of centrally-regulated funds. Member states in recent months have introduced important measures using their own resources to mitigate the economic effects of the epidemic, he said, adding that keeping state counter-guarantees at a national level appeared to be a more effective way of stimulating lending.