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Growing EU divisions see financial aid for Ukraine blocked

Jerome Hughes
Press TV, Brussels 

EU leaders are furious with Hungary for blocking an eighteen billion euro financial aid package for Ukraine, the first tranche of which is due to be released to Kiev next month. 

Finance ministers from the twenty-seven-nation bloc came together on Tuesday to try and resolve the impasse, but the meeting ended in failure.

This debacle follows a European Commission proposal last week to freeze seven point five billion euro in funding to Hungary from the EU budget amid claims that Budapest is not meeting the bloc's rule of law standards. Aside from Ukraine, EU finance ministers have major problems closer to home. The energy crisis in the EU, resulting from sanctions against Russia, is getting worse by the day. The European Commission warns of economic disaster if EU nations continue to subsidise high energy costs in an ad hoc emergency fashion.

Out of control energy prices are making the cost of living crisis in the EU unbearable for households and businesses. Eurozone inflation is at ten percent. The European Central Bank is aggressively increasing interest rates to try and tackle the problem. Economists warn, forcing inflation down too quickly can also be dangerous.

Croatia will become the twentieth member of the eurozone next month. EU finance ministers say Zagreb will be able to enjoy all the benefits.

However, the euro has a troubled history and so it's clear Croatia will also be exposed to potential risks during these incredibly uncertain economic times.

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