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Washington Post: E.U. proposes suspending $7.5B in funding for Orban’s Hungary over corruption

BRUSSELS — The European Commission on Sunday proposed the suspension of billions of dollars in funding for Hungary over concerns about corruption, a first-of-its kind move that could deepen the standoff between Brussels and Budapest — if it goes ahead.

The commission will ask European Union countries to approve the suspension of 65 percent of funding from three programs, amounting to roughly $7.5 billion, according to E.U. officials. But the commission seemed to leave the door open for Hungary to make reforms and keep the money in the end.

This is the first time the E.U. is using a new measure aimed at protecting its budget by making funding conditional on certain standards. “Today’s decision is a clear demonstration of the Commission’s resolve to protect the E.U. budget, and to use all tools at our disposal to ensure this important objective,” Johannes Hahn, commissioner in charge of budget and administration said in a statement.