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Hungarian central banker-nominee pledges focus on inflation - extended

András Simor, the Hungarian government's nominee to head the central bank, said policy makers will continue to contain inflation support as their chief focus.

András Simor, the Hungarian government's nominee to head the central bank, won the endorsement of Parliament's budgetary and economic committees at his nomination hearing. The joint committees voted 37 to 0 to support Simor's nomination, with 11 abstentions. He pledged to fuel Hungary's competitiveness by battling inflation, which will aid the country's efforts fulfill the criteria to adopt the euro as the its currency.
„He persuaded the committee members that he would be independent from the government, and that he will continue the monetary policy of the past two years,” said committee chairman Mihály Varga, a member of the opposition Fidesz party, in an interview.

The new president will take over as inflation is set to accelerate to the fastest in six years and rates are already the European Union's highest. Simor is expected to mend relations between the bank and the government, which soured amid current central bank President Zsigmond Járai’s criticism of budget policy. Simor, 52, stressed he would pursue an independent monetary policy.
„If the government takes measures that will upset the stability of prices, then the central bank will speak up,” Simor told the committees.
Simor said Hungary was the only country among those that joined the European Union in 2004 that did not meet any of the euro-adoption criteria. Simor saw no disadvantages to Euro adoption, saying it would make Hungary more efficient and economically competitive. „We have a lot of work if we want to meet the Maastricht criteria, and we can't do it alone. We have to do it in cooperation with the government.”