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Varga: Hungary could turn to court over Eximbank debate with Eurostat

If Hungary’s dispute with the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat “ends unfavorably” for Hungary regarding the outlays of state-owned Eximbank, the government is ready to defend its stand in court, Hungary’s National Economy Minister Mihály Varga said today, according to reports.

Speaking at a press conference, the minister said that if “the professional dispute ends unfavorably for us, we will turn to court … we view Eurostatʼs initiative as somewhat targeted”,  according to MTI. The minister reportedly added that the outlays of Eximbank are business loans with a return. 

Eurostat recommended the government redefine Eximbankʼs status to be accounted for as part of the government, the statistics office told portfolio.hu earlier. Eurostat added that currently it is in consultations with Hungary’s Central Statistical Office (KSH) on the matter.

Following amendments to legislation in 2013, Eximbank became available to lend domestically, and such outlays have increased considerably since, the website noted. According to its calculations, the change would raise Maastricht debt by about 2 percentage points of GDP, even if it would not have much effect on the deficit.