The EU Commission is taking a hard line in dealing with the shortcomings in the rule of law in Hungary.
For the foreseeable future, Viktor Orbán's government must therefore expect billions from the EU budget and the Corona recovery fund to be withheld.
As the FAZ learned from a reliable source in the commission, the responsible bodies in the commission came to the conclusion that Budapest had not adequately fulfilled its promises of reform in the fight against corruption.
At its meeting on Wednesday next week, the Commission will therefore recommend the Member States to freeze EUR 7.5 billion from three cohesion programs.
In addition, the payment of 5.8 billion euros from the reconstruction fund will be linked to these points and further judicial reforms.
Under this condition, the commissioners responsible for the reconstruction fund want to approve Hungary's national reconstruction plan at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon and recommend it to the Council for adoption.
As in Poland, the payment of the first tranche is linked to the implementation of the 17 anti-corruption measures that Budapest committed to the Commission in September.
The Hungarian government wanted to avert the procedure launched against them for the first time to protect the EU budget.
That has now failed.
In concrete terms, this means that the EU finance ministers will decide on December 6 on the recommendation to freeze 7.5 billion euros from the regular budget and on the acceptance of the reconstruction plan with the milestones for reform of the rule of law - in both cases with a qualified majority.
They thus have a lever in their hands to persuade Budapest to veto the introduction of a minimum tax for multinational companies and 18 billion budget support for Ukraine.
If the finance ministers do not accept the reconstruction plan, 70 percent of the subsidies planned for Hungary, totaling four billion euros, would automatically and irrevocably expire at the end of the year.
According to information from the FAZ, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen informed the leaders of the parliamentary groups in the European Parliament about this procedure on Tuesday.
The vast majority of parliament had taken a hard line, explaining last week why Budapest had failed to deliver on its reform commitments.
The Commission's current assessment is based on a letter that the Hungarian Minister of Justice and Europe, Judit Varga, sent on Saturday.
In it, Varga outlined the steps taken by the government.
Budapest has fulfilled some of its commitments, but not all, especially important ones, the source reported.
For example, the vice presidents of the newly created authority for integrity "are not above all doubt".
This should particularly affect Timea Holbusz, who comes from the government apparatus.
She previously worked for the Directorate of the Treasury Department, which is tasked with checking the use of EU grants.
There were always irregularities here that were only discovered by Brussels.