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Gyurcsány names new monetary council members

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány named the four new members he proposes to delegate to the monetary council of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), authorized to do so by the second Parliamentary approval of a controversial amendment to the Central Bank Act on Dec. 13. According to a press release from the Prime Minister?s Office, the four nominees include professors Tamás Bánfi and Csaba Csáki, both department heads at Budapest Corvinus University; Péter Bihari, currently managing director of 7 Sigma Kft, who had worked as a department head and chief economist at Budapest Bank Rt for nearly a decade, and Judit Neményi, a senior researcher with financial research institute Pénzügykutató Rt and formerly a senior official with the National Bank of Hungary and the Finance Ministry. The government may assume more control over MNB?s interest rate policy, the significance of which lies in the fact that Gyurcsány is pressing for further rate cuts, whereas MNB president Zsigmond Járai would exercise extreme caution in lowering the benchmark rate.