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European nations Hungary and Poland are reportedly bringing a setback to the European Commission as both countries have decided to veto the coronavirus stimulus deal agreed on by the commission.
According to a CNBC report, the 27 member nations in the European Union earlier agreed on a $2 trillion relief package following the coronavirus pandemic that has stirred a huge economic downturn for most EU member states.
Part of the funding package involves a 750 billion euros fund earmarked as both grants and loans to member states who needed the funding the most. 390 billion euros was slated for grants while the remaining 360 billion euros will be disbursed as loans respectively.
The veto by the duo of Hungary and Poland came following a meeting on Monday and on concerns that both nations have issues with the European Core values upon which the relief funding will be based. Both Hungary and Poland are known to have reputations for disregarding core EU values including the influencing of the Judiciary as well as a subtle clampdown on the media.
The veto from both nations will pose a major setback for the distribution of the EU funds which is scheduled to begin by January 2021. The move comes at a time where most member states suffering a resounding economic blow due to the COVID-19 pandemic needed the funding the most.
As reported by CNBC, Analysts at consultancy firm Eurasia Group said this was a “big setback” to the overall plan.“Even in the event of a December deal, there will be a significant delay in when funding reaches vulnerable member states, probably the third quarter of 2021 at the earliest,” they said in a note on Monday.
While it is generally noted that funding will come in handy for both Hungary and Poland despite their fewer number of COVID-19 cases recorded, the setback will impact much more on highly hit nations including Italy and Spain as both are finding it difficult to support their citizens at this time.
Hungary and Poland Pull Off, Next Line of Action
Though the veto from Hungary and Poland is catastrophic, an unnamed EU official noted that this is not the end of the matter for either the two nations or the EU. Besides, there has been a continuous call on every EU member state to live up to their responsibilities to the bloc as failure to do so can affect the European citizens so gravely.
“I ask everyone in the EU to live up to their responsibility. It is not the time for vetoes but for acting swiftly and in the spirit of solidarity,” Germany’s Europe minister Michael Roth said on Tuesday at a press conference, adding: “Our people would pay a very high price for a blockade.”
The unnamed EU official also noted that the entire process has entered a political phase wherein German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will take charge of negotiations with both the Hungarian and Polish leaders.