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‘Desperate times’: East European leaders want richer EU states to pay more into bloc’s budget

Wealthier EU countries should pay more into the bloc’s budget in the wake of the coronavirus economic recovery, Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday in Lednice, Czech Republic.

His statement came after a meeting of Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Polish leaders, who make up the Visegrad 4 group.

Hungary can support the EU’s funding distribution plan if it does not favor rich countries unfairly, according to PM Viktor Orban. He said he would set aside his general aversion to funding anything using loans. “Desperate times require desperate measures,” he added.

However, Orban noted that rich countries receiving more funds than poor ones was “absurd” and had to be changed. The funds should be utilized more flexibly and the system of rebates from EU contributions should be abolished after Brexit, Reuters quoted him as saying.

Header: Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban is welcomed by Czech Republic’s PM Andrej Babis as he arrives at the summit of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries at Lednice Chateau, in the village of Lednice, Czech Republic, June 11, 2020. © Reuters / David W Cerny