Hungary wants fast talks with IMF, says PM

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Hungary's interest is to close talks fast with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday.

Orbán told public radio mr-1 Kossuth that the government still believed the country could finance itself, therefore it did not want to draw on a loan from the IMF.

The cabinet only wants a "declaration" from the IMF that says Hungary can count on a safety net if there are problems on the European bond market, he said. He added that the IMF is under the impression that Hungary needs a loan.

Orbán rejected the suggestion that the IMF only wanted to lend to Hungary to influence its economic policy.

"This is malignant speculation. The IMF is our friend," he said.

Orbán said he had driven the government's goals home successfully during talks in Brussels and that it would not change its goals only discuss the means to reach them.

He said Hungary's position conveyed to Brussels was that it is open to discussing other means of achieving these goals.

"Hungary is not withdrawing, suspending or changing anything," he said.

The government will stick to implementing an across-the-board retirement age and believes that the issue of judges' retirement is not a judicial issue.

Orbán said the government had not yielded regarding the salary and oath of the central bank leaders either and as the European Commission had acknowledged this, these are no longer contentious issues. The requested changes to the Central Bank Act will soon be tabled for debate in parliament, he added.

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