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VARGA: EU RECOVERY FUNDING 'SLOW, CUMBERSOME'

 

The distribution of European Union recovery funding has been “extremely cumbersome and slow”, Mihály Varga, the finance minister, said in Brussels on Tuesday. Varga said the European Commission’s assessment of the funding so far had been “unreasonably optimistic”. Arriving at the meeting of EU finance and economy ministers, Varga told MTI that Hungary’s experience of recovery funding had been severely problematic, with only one-fifth of the funds having been allocated. Five EU member states have yet to receive recovery funding, he said, adding that competition and the economic opportunities between countries were seriously distorted as a result. The minister said that borrowing within the framework of recovery funding had also proved tricky, and only a small number of member states had succeeded in tapping this money. Varga pointed to a “lack of trust” in the European Commission’s handling of the facility, adding that “this type of joint borrowing” would be “unnecessary” in the future. Joint borrowing, he added, had a detrimental effect on the ability of countries that manage their public debt and finances independently to access such market financing. Meanwhile, on the topic of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Varga stated said Hungarian banks were well-capitalised and fresh credit ratings found the Hungarian banking system to be strong. “The current situation is something we can face calmly…” he said.