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EU Fight With Hungary Spills Into Its Recovery Fund: Brussels Edition

Viktor Orban

Viktor Orban

Photographer: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Bloomberg

Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban came under plenty of fire from European lawmakers for a measure outlawing content for minors that can be deemed to “promote homosexuality.” But speaker after speaker in Strasbourg on Wednesday kept up a barrage of criticism of both the European Commission and the European Council, urging them to punish Orban's government by blocking funds from the EU stimulus package. How can European taxpayers fund a government breaching EU values, the lawmakers asked. It now looks like the commission will withhold its approval of Hungary’s recovery plan beyond a July 12 deadline, according to people familiar with the matter. The official reason would be concern over a lack of safeguards to prevent corruption, although a final decision on a delay hasn’t been made. More broadly, however, the bigger fight remains over whether — and how — the EU will act on its concerns over Hungary’s rule-of-law violations.