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Járai is named as third member of Fiscal Council

President Pál Schmitt formally appointed Zsigmond Járai as a third member of Hungary's revamped Fiscal Council this morning, the president's office said in a statement.

Járai, president of the supervisory board of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), will be the third member of the body. Járai, one of the founders of CIG Pannónia insurer, was chairman of the MNB between 2001 and 2007, also served as president of the Budpest Stock Exchange from 1996 until 1998. Before that, he was chairman-CEO of ABN AMRO Bank.

Former Fiscal Council member György Kopits resigned from his post two weeks ago, citing the government's "obvious lack of confidence in [his] person". The previous Fiscal Council was disbanded by the Fidesz government in what some have described a retaliatory action for the Council's sharp criticism of its economic policy. The new council is made up of the central bank governor, the head of the state audit office, and "a well-respected economist to be appointed by the president of Hungary", according to the Fiscal Council Act. The new council has no veto rights over fiscal matters and will work without the 40-strong researchers to back it up.