Fidesz MP expects IMF-EU agreement by end-Q2
Antal Rogán, an MP of governing Fidesz, said in a television interview on Thursday that negotiations on precautionary financial assistance Hungary is seeking from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union could start in two or three weeks and an agreement could be reached by the end of the second quarter.
Speaking on commercial broadcaster TV2's Mokka program, Rogán stressed that the government continues to view the package -- regardless of what the credit line is called -- as a kind of safety net which it does not want to draw down. He added that the government continues to aim to pay off the state's debt and get financing from the market.
Rogán declined to estimate the size of the assistance but said it would be smaller than the €20 billion Standby Arrangement Hungary took out in 2008.
He said the IMF would welcome the Széll Kálmán Plan 2.0, a new version of a year-old structural reform program unveiled on Monday. He added that the plan contained expenditure-reducing structural reforms that were earlier expected of Hungary.
He said it would have been impossible to achieve the scale of fiscal improvement desired by the IMF and EU through spending cuts alone, thus justifying the introduction of five new taxes. Without the revenue-raising measures, a 16% cut in public sector wages and a 18% cut in pensions would have been required, he added.
Rogán said the measures in the plan would raise monthly expenditures of an average Hungarian household by HUF 500-600.
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