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EU completes SURE issuance for 2020; Commissioner still hopeful of budget deal

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FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The European Union has completed debt issuance for this year to fund its SURE unemployment scheme, Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn told Reuters on Thursday.

It has raised 39.5 billion euros ($47 billion) from three bond sales this year, higher than the initial 30 billion euros the European Commission expected to raise in 2020 before it started the funding in October.

The EU will complete issuance for the up to 100 billion euro SURE scheme next year.

Hahn said not approving the EU's budget and 800 billion euro coronavirus recovery fund -- following a veto by Poland and Hungary over tying disbursements to the rule of law that has threatened to delay both -- by the week of December 15 would create a lot of difficulties.

But he added that he was still confident a deal could be struck.

"At the end of the day, it's also about a lot of money for Hungary and Poland," Hahn said, noting the two countries are among the biggest beneficiaries of the recovery fund.

"Time wise the challenge is the speed of the ratification process in national parliaments," he said.

(Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)