Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi has called on the government to apply for one billion euros from the remaining funding of the European Union’s SURE job protection programme.
The EC’s instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) was launched on August 24 last year. The instrument has been created to support countries hit by the coronavirus epidemic, by disbursing loans to support short-term work schemes and other measures. Hungary has so far received only 504 million euros from the funds, while Poland received 11.4 billion euros, and the Czech Republic 2 billion euros, Ujhelyi told an online press conference on Thursday.
Ujhelyi said that while the government was “taking out hundreds of billion forints in expensive loans for the upgrade of the Paks nuclear plant or the Budapest campus of the Chinese Fudan University, it begrudges taking the EU loan for helping Hungarian workers”. The finance ministry had said they were “mulling the rationality of an application, in view of the narrowly defined measures that can be supported from the programme, as well as the fact the loan will have to be refunded,” Ujhelyi said.