Hungary warns of serious conflicts in Europe
Wednesday, November 30, 2005, 12:26
Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány on Tuesday intervened in the dispute over the European Union budget, warning that if wealthy west European states were not generous to the poorer east, they faced the prospect of "the most serious possible conflicts between the different parts of Europe", the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Gyurcsány said the UK should rethink its proposals to cut aid for Eastern Europe as a solution to the dispute over the EU's 2007-13 budget.
Gyurcsány's comments came after most of the east European states that joined the EU last year categorically rejected budget plans put forward by the UK, holder of the union's six-month rotating presidency.
While the British plans have yet to be finalized, European Commission officials say they involve reducing the budget by cutting regional aid to Eastern Europe by about 10%. The Luxembourg plan was accepted by 20 of the 25 member states, including the east European countries, but rejected by the EU's big net contributors.
British PM Tony Blair can expect a hostile reaction when he travels to eastern Europe tomorrow - meeting Baltic state leaders in Tallinn before going to Budapest on Friday to see central European government heads, the FT said.
Gyurcsány said the Union's stability could not be taken for granted. "If there is an unbearable difference between different countries, it will prompt large-scale migration and it will jeopardize social stability."