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On the subject of the EU agreement to make funding contingent on meeting rule-of-law standards, Gergely Gulyás, the PM’s chief of staff, said Hungarian lawmakers had already defined the conditions under which the government could give its approval to the EU budget and recovery fund, adding that the German presidency’s current formula for the agreement breached the EU treaties. Hungary, he said, would not help to form a consensus on the matter under such conditions. He said a “stealthy” attempt was being made to override EU treaties, adding that in order to amend the treaty, unanimity was required. The rule of law only works if decisions can be appealed in court, Gulyás said. The key question, he said, was whether government decisions would be made in Budapest or Brussels. Gulyás added that allowing two-thirds of EU member states to back a rule-of-law procedure would amount to “blackmail” over matters that, based on the Lisbon Treaty, belonged exclusively to “Hungarians and the Hungarian government”. Gulyás said Hungary had agreed to consider the Next Generation EU fund out of solidarity with southern member states, even though it disagreed with the principle of joint borrowing. He added that Hungary had no financing difficulties, and, notwithstanding its desire to help other countries, it could not accept the rule-of-law contingency on funding. Asked about EU country reports, Gulyás slammed the EU for creating “the right to blackmail”. Legal consequences should not arise if a document does not meet objective standards, he said.