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Varga finds eurozone budget proposal ‘concerning’

Minister of Finance Mihály Varga said Hungary does not support what he described as a "concerning" proposal to establish a separate European Union budget for the eurozone at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, state news agency MTI reported.

The proposal, made jointly by France and Germany, goes against Hungaryʼs interests and could present serious risks, Varga told the inclusive format of the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers, the Hungarian Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

A separate eurozone budget would unnecessarily deepen the already existing rift between member states inside and outside of the eurozone, he added.

Economic development, the development of innovation and research, and support for convergence are the joint goals and shared tasks of all member states, Varga said. The proposal would exclude member states who have not adopted the common currency from making use of surplus funding for common EU goals, he added.

France and Germany unveiled the proposal for the eurozone budget, "to promote competitiveness, convergence and stabilization in the euro area, starting in 2021," in June. The fleshed-out proposal was presented in November.

Varga noted that implementing the proposal would require the approval of the other 17 eurozone members. A number of member states, among them the Netherlands and Finland, are opposed to the proposal, he claimed.