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SOCIALIST MEP: EU JOB PROTECTION FUNDING OPENS SECOND ROUND OF APPLICATIONS FROM JAN 1

 

Hungary will have another chance from January 1 to apply for funds from the European Union’s SURE fund to help employees suffering the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi said. The EC’s instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) has been created to support countries hit by the coronavirus epidemic, by disbursing loans to support short-term work schemes and other measures. SURE has already approved 90.3 billion euros of its 100 billion euro framework to 18 member states, Ujhelyi said. He said he had turned to Nicolas Schmit, the EU commissioner for jobs and social rights, who said the remaining 9.7 billion euros will be available in a second round of applications from January. Ujhelyi noted that since the programme was launched last year, Poland applied for 11 billion euros, the Czech Republic for 2 billion euros, and Romania for 4 billion euros. Hungary, at the same time, only applied for 504 million, he said. “The Hungarian government had to be pressured into applying at all, and then lied about the projects the funds were allocated to,” Ujhelyi insisted. The funds were used to finance the temporary tax cuts for SMEs, the short-term expansion of family benefits, and the one-off salary supplement for health-care workers, he said. “Thanks to successful lobbying”, Hungary now has a second chance to apply for support, Ujhelyi said. He also called on the government to cooperate with the opposition and trade unions to develop an employee aid scheme, and to “concern itself with the real problems of the people instead of propaganda and lying.”