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Bajnai: Hungary can retake place as a leading economy in region

Hungary can retake its position as a leading economy in Central Europe, a position it enjoyed in the second half of the 90s, Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai told Hungarians at an event in New York.

Hungary has reached a very active period as it comes out of the crisis, and with its actions the country wants to become a leading economy in Europe and the region, Bajnai said. Hungary was able to return to global debt markets just 8-9 months after its government securities market locked up, he added.

Bajnai blamed the loss of Hungary's role a leading economy in the region on the country's political parties, who put off reforms to win votes.

Asked what guarantee there was that reforms would continue after general elections in the spring, Bajnai said it would be the responsibility of the next government to carry on a sober, frugal and forward-looking economic policy.

The biggest problem for Hungary in the next 10-20 years will be the integration of the Roma, Bajnai said. Without a solution, the country will not be able to develop sustainably. The next government will have to deal with the problem continuously, he said.

Bajnai met with the Hungarian-born investor George Soros and former US ambassador to Hungary Nancy Brinker on Monday. (MTI-Econews)