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The Socialists have spread “false and misleading” information concerning the government’s jobs protection loan scheme, the finance ministry said, commenting on remarks by Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi, who suggested at the weekend that the government was waiting to use a “Brussels loan” to finance its economic protection measures connected with the coronavirus epidemic. The government, he added, had applied for a European Commission programme and was eyeing a loan of 180 billion forints (EUR 500m).
The ministry noted that the EU launched its SURE programme aimed at providing members with funds to refinance their job protection measures back in May, and it was “inevitable” the Hungarian government would use that instrument. Hungary was the first member to pass legislation for participating in the EU scheme, the ministry said. Ujhelyi’s loan figure was also “misleading”, it said, adding that “Hungary has received approval for a sum as facilitated by the measures eligible under the SURE legislation”. It added that the EC had approved 15 different measures by the Hungarian government, making it eligible for refinancing.