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FINANCE MINISTER: BOOSTING COMPETITIVENESS KEY IN EU CRISIS MANAGEMENT

 

Boosting competitiveness and investments is key to handling the crisis in the European Union and increasing the bloc’s economic weight, Hungarian Finance Minister Mihály Varga told a meeting of EU finance ministers on the use of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, a part of its 750 billion euro recovery programme to offset the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Varga said the package should close the economic gap between member states. Funds should be distributed flexibly and tailored to the needs of EU member states, he said. Funds should indeed be spent on promoting the transition to the green and digital economies, but Hungary, for example, also wants to spend money on infrastructure development so it can catch up with its European peers, he said. Regarding member states’ own resources to finance the EU budget, Varga said the system should be proportionate and take into account their respective economic weight. Also, national budgets must not be burdened unduly and tax sovereignty should be respected, he said. The finance ministry noted in its statement that the EU has agreed on its 1,074 billion euro multiannual financial framework in July, along with the recovery package to protect the bloc’s economy against the effects of the pandemic.