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FinMin still believes in 2010 euro entry date

Finance Minister János Veres voiced his belief that the 2010 eurozone entry date could still be a reality for Hungary and outlined areas of state spending designated for change at a business forum on Thursday. Addressing the businessmen, Veres said the planned reduction of the public sector deficit from 6.1% to 4.7% based on ESA-95 next year will create the means to adopt the euro. ?Perhaps our pace of deficit cuts is not the best viewed from outside, but it will still be sufficient to meet criteria for eurozone entry by 2008,? he said. Veres also pointed to public administration, including local councils, the healthcare system and education, as areas which must function more cost-effectively in order to meet the desired 2010 deadline for eurozone entry. Veres said the government has been able to see through a reduction of 4-4.5 percentage points in public sector deficit over the past four years, although he conceded that it was unable to keep to the pledged annual cuts.