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Hungary and Poland Unbowed Over EU Budget Deal as Showdown Looms

  • Premiers reiterate demand to drop tying rule-of-law to funds
  • Merkel raises pressure as EU budget, virus aid package delayed
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is setting the groundwork for a showdown with two eastern European Union countries that have threatened to veto a $2.2 trillion spending package in a dispute over democratic standards.

Hungary and Poland are headed for the gravest clash with their peers since they joined the EU in 2004, after reiterating on Monday they won’t agree to tying disbursements from the bloc’s budget and virus-recovery fund to upholding the rule of law.