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EU withholds money from Hungary, but continues to fund Palestinian Authority

Magyar Nemzet
2023.10.11. 14:28
EU withholds money from Hungary, but continues to fund Palestinian Authority

At an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers, the European Commission's decision to suspend payments to the Palestinian Authority was rescinded.

As Magyar Nemzet has highlighted in a previous article, Hungary's European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi had announced on social media that the EC is suspending all payments to Palestinians with immediate effect. 

As the biggest donor of the Palestinians, the European Commission is putting its full development portfolio under review, worth a total of 691 million euros,

– Mr Varhelyi wrote.

However, as the decision was criticized by many European governments, it was eventually rescinded at an emergency meeting of foreign ministers. 

The overwhelming majority of ministers was against the idea of the proposal of suspending the payments to the Palestinian Authority. This is the thing that matters,

− the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, was quoted by The Guardian as saying. 

Mr Borell said they can review the funds to check for any possible “leakages” to Hamas, and if there are leakages, then someone will have to pay the price for such a mistake.

The commissioner underlined that only two, or maybe three countries disagreed with the reversal of the decision.

The EU is the largest donor of the Palestinian Authority and humanitarian aid will be increased, Mr Borrell said. According to figures released by the European Commission on Tuesday,the Palestinian Authority has been given  €410 million in 2021 and 2022, but funds for 2023 have not yet been allocated. An additional €271 million were donated by the EU to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees for humanitarian projects in the three years between 2021 and 2023, the commission's figures showed.

While the European Union is generously supporting the Palestinians despite the attack, funds for Hungary continue to be withheld, even despite the fact that - as Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto pointed out recently - Hungary is entitled to these funds.

According to European rules and regulations, these European funds must be transferred to us, whether they like it or not,

– the foreign minister has said. 

In the meantime, a growing number of US politicians are calling for the re-freezing of the six billion dollars recently released to Iran as part of a deal to free five US citizens.

While the White House insists that - under the agreement - Iran can only use the money for humanitarian purposes and consistently rejects the idea that the six billion dollars could have contributed to the tragic attack on Israel, many are doubtful. 

You have to be an idiot to believe the Biden admin's talking points that none of the $6 billion released to Iran could be used for war against Israel,

– Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote on social media. 

While so far it's been mostly Republicans who have made their voices heard, Democratic Senators Jon Tester and Joe Manchin are now also urging President Biden to freeze the $6-billion budget once again, according to the American Breitbart.

As American intelligence officials continue to investigate the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas, we should review our options to hold Iran accountable for any support they may have provided. At a minimum, we should immediately freeze the $6 billion in Iranian assets and explore other financial tools we have at our disposal,

− writes Mr Tester in his statement cited by The Hill, a top US political website.

Mr Manchin used even stronger language: 

Any country or government that is found to be supportive of this terrorist organization should have the most severe sanctions imposed upon them immediately to shut down the support of these terroristic, barbaric actions,

− the Democratic senator has said. 

 

Cover photo: Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative in charge of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Photo: MTI/EPA-EFE/Pepe Torres)

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