Unconventional policies start bearing fruit from 2013, Matolcsy tells CNN

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The Hungarian economy may now be seeing slow growth, but it is now in a period of transition and the government's unconventional policies will bear fruit starting from next year, economy minister György Matolcsy told CNN in an interview.

"In order to bring the deficit down we used a good deal of unconventional policy measures," Matolcsy said, noting that Hungary was the first European Union member state to introduce a bank levy and crisis taxes, as well as nationalising private pensions. He said Hungary was now on the right track and its fiscal condition was now in order.

   "We've got a convergence programme now; it was approved by the European Commission and so by definition this means that our fiscal condition is in order. The crisis is over," Matolcsy said in the interview published on CNN's website on Thursday (US time).
    "This is a transition period for the Hungarian economy," the minister said. "We'll have … a robust economic growth figure for next year. This year is a little bit risky," he added.
    Matolcsy conceded that the government had been on the receiving end of some sharp criticism for its handling of economic policy, but he insisted that its unorthodox policies would lead to a position of strength in the future.
    "We are heavily criticised against the backdrop of a good deal of unconventional measures .... we were forced to be innovative, creative," he said.
    "The Hungarian fairytale, or the Hungarian example, will be a successful one in a year's time," he added.
    The Hungarian central bank is fully independent but the related law will be further amended to answer all concerns, Matolcsy said.
    Parliament postponed vote on central bank act amendments on Monday after the European Central Bank said that the amendments "did not go far enough".
    "All laws for central bank independence will be passed by the end of June," he said.
    Matolcsy also insisted that Central Europe as a whole would replace the "southern belt" of Europe as a global business lynchpin.
    "The strength of the whole of the Central European region will be the next hub for the global business community," he said.

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