Govt stands firm on levying taxes to cover European Court payment obligations
Hungary's government will not back down because of the European Commission's concerns over a constitutional amendment that mandates the state to levy targeted taxes to cover any payment obligations resulting from rulings by the European Court of Justice, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on public radio on Friday.
Orbán said the government would continue to defend the measure, even before the European Court. The point is "to prevent such a situation in which complying with international developments – let's say a judgment against Hungary or a ruling on the recovery of funds - means raising the budget deficit", he explained.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso expressed "serious concerns" over the amendment, and others, in a letter to Orban a week ago. EC Vice-President Viviane Reding said in an address to the European Parliament on Wednesday that the amendment, "which would introduce an ad-hoc tax on Hungarian citizens should Hungary be fined for breach of EU law", would violate EU rules.
"Now the question is, is this really sensible to make citizens pay for a tax whenever the state would fail to be in compliance with EU law? In practice citizens would be penalised twice: once for not having their rights upheld under EU law and second for having to pay for this," Ms Reding said.
"This could undermine the authority of the Court of Justice and could constitute a violation of the duty of sincere cooperation which is inscribed in Article 4 (3) of the Treaty on the European Union on the part of Hungary," she added.
SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.