The Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), which is currently the most popular party in Austria according to the latest polling, has tabled a motion demanding Austria withdraw funding of Ukraine given what it says are the billions of euros already gifted from Brussels.
The motion was rejected by all parties except the FPÖ.
“The EU must finally stop throwing billions of member states’ money out the window,” said MP Petra Steger, FPÖ spokesperson for its European policy, while speaking to the Austrian parliament’s foreign affairs committee.
“We say: Enough is enough. Austria has paid enough! Our job is to represent the interests of Austrian taxpayers. So, we are campaigning to put an end to this irresponsible policy at the expense of net contributor states and to suspend contributions until we are assured that our money is being used in a contractual and responsible manner and this huge waste is stopped,” Steger said after the meeting. The MP said that the EU institutions have lost all common sense when it comes to budgetary policy, with one budgetary excess following another in a totally irresponsible manner.
The conservative party has long argued against the EU’s sanctions regime against Russia, saying it has not hurt the Russian war effort and led to severe economic hardship for both Austria and Europe at large.
Austria will pay €3.6 billion in membership fees to Brussels this year, which includes contributions to the European Peace Facility to buy arms for Ukraine, as well as money for the Turkey Refugee Facility.
“As a result, Austrian citizens have been sending billions of euros to the EU institutions for years, and the EU institutions have been rewarding them with climate madness and the highest inflation since 1952. From the ban on internal combustion engines to absurd vaccine contracts and billions of euros in gifts to the Zelensky regime, the EU institutions are not acting in the interests of the Austrians. They are distributing the money they collect according to their ‘moral’ compass, instead of addressing the real concerns of Europeans,” said Steger.
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FPÖ MEP Harald Vilimsky also said that Ukraine cannot join the European Union, and the Austrian government should stand by this position tooth and nail, as the consequences of Ukraine’s accession would be very serious. He stated that Ukraine’s accession to the EU, which Brussels is now pushing through wittingly or unwittingly, should be rejected for a number of reasons, one of which is the dramatic impact it would have on the EU budget.
“According to press reports, the EU commission is now modeling the consequences on the example of the current financial framework 2021-2027. According to this, Ukraine alone would receive €186 billion. If the six Western Balkan states plus Georgia and Moldova are included as additional accession countries, they would receive a total of €257 billion. Put simply, this means that Ukraine alone would need around 15 percent of the total EU budget,” Vilimsky said.
He added that in the area of agricultural subsidies, too, the Ukrainians could claim almost a third of the budget. In addition, Ukraine should receive €61 billion from the EU’s cohesion fund, as its GDP per capita is on a par with Algeria or Sri Lanka — about a tenth of the EU average.