Report: Hungary, Visegrad countries to address benefit ban

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The Visegrad countries will seek a joint stance during a meeting on February 15 regarding the U.K.’s recent measure to restrict the benefits accessible to its migrant workforce, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjártó told Reuters yesterday.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan for reform of the European Union, announced earlier this week, included a plan to restrict benefits for other EU nationals working in the U.K., and this was reportedly a key point of contention for Szijjárto (pictured), according to Reuters.

Szijjárto said he hopes that the Visegrad summit will help the group reach a joint and fortified position on the mattter, Reuters reported.

The Visegrad Four countries – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – are the largest suppliers of migrant labor to the U.K.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and British Prime Minister David Cameron had a heated debate on the subject during Cameronʼs visit in early January, when Cameron discussed the benefit ban at a joint press conference and Orbán responded: “Hungarians are not parasites”.

This measure could lead to other EU nations applying similar restrictions, Szijjártó told Reuters. President of the European Council Donald Tusk also recently put forward a proposal to suspend some of the benefits previously offered migrant workers from other EU countries for four years, Reuters reported.

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