15 Apr 2010
Hungary’s new centre-right Fidesz government will seek a new financing deal or an extension to the existing agreement with the IMF and the EU, foreign minister-designate Janos Martonyi told reporters in an interview.
The Fidesz party, which named Martonyi as its candidate for the top job in Hungarian diplomacy, won elections by a landslide on April 11 and could end up with a two-thirds majority in the next parliament after a runoff vote on April 25.
“Well, I think we have to sit down as soon as possible (with the IMF and the EU),” Martonyi said. “We have to talk about the present agreement and the exact situation about that agreement, and given the fact that the present agreement will expire in October this year, we also have to discuss a possible extension under amended terms, perhaps, or about making a new agreement. We are completely open.”
Hungary resorted to a $25.1bn rescue package from the IMF and the EU in October 2008 when it narrowly escaped financial meltdown.
Martonyi said the new agreement should take into account Fidesz’s goals to boost the recession-hit economy. “I hoped many years ago that the IMF chapter in Hungarian economic history disappeared forever,” he said.
“This is not the case now, so we’ll have to abide by the basic rules and modalities – but of course we have to negotiate reasonably and we have to pay attention to generating growth, to possible economic stimuli which we definitely need, and at the same time we have to pay due
attention to the reforms.” Gyorgy Matolcsy, who is tipped to be the economy minister in the new Fidesz government, told reporters ahead
of the election that Fidesz planned to propose a new precautionary deal with the IMF and EU in September.