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Járai says budget lacks necessary reforms

The government's proposed budget for 2006 still lacks the necessary structural reforms, raising risks, central bank government Zsigmond Járai said yesterday, speaking at the opening of an exhibit on the last fifteen years of the Budapest Stock Exchange. Járai said he doubted Hungary could adopt the euro in 2010, as planned, because this would require meeting the Maastricht criteria -- reducing the deficit to 3% of GDP -- by 2008. And to carry out such significant changes in the year preceding would be impossible. Járai said, however, that the financial and capital markets were not surprised by the government's announcement of new deficit targets for 2005 and 2006, they were only waiting for the government to admit the fact there would be an overshoot. (Econews; Nv 5, MH 10, Nb 12)