As a first step in its effort to retain jobs, the European Commission issued EUR 17 billion in bonds on October 20, which attracted huge interest. Plans call for the Member States concerned, including Hungary, to receive approximately half of their total capital needs in 2020, with the remaining amount disbursed in early 2021. Hungary’s required amount of EUR 504 million has also been approved by the EC.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the soft loan under the workplace protection program (SURE) will be used to finance the costs of workplace retention and health measures introduced after February 1, 2020.
The government has already helped workers via several measures, resulting in, for example, 900,000 people receiving labor market or training support.
According to the Ministry of Finance, false and misleading allegations have previously been made by left-wing MPs regarding SURE, including the fact that Hungary did not submit its application or did not submit it on time. The Hungarian government submitted its request for funding for workplace protection measures to the European Commission on time and at the same time as all Member States.
The Council’s decision means that the European Commission will soon conclude a loan agreement with Hungary and other Member States involved.