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Deficit will be under 3% this year, says Orbán

Hungary's general government deficit will be under 3% of GDP this year, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his "State of the Nation" address on Friday. Orbán reiterated that the deficit would be under the European Union threshold just hours after the European Commission projected the gap would increase to 3.4% in 2013. He also said state debt would be reduced under the 50% of GDP threshold in the new Constitution. Orbán noted that Hungary had reduced its state debt and maintained a disciplined fiscal policy in the past year, while performing better than most EU member states. The prime minister suggested the government would continue to work for the best interest of the country and forge its own policy, even though it has vexed some foreign investors in the past. "We are building a country in which foreign banks and bureaucrats don't tell us what to do," he said. Looking ahead, Orbán said Hungary's competitiveness would increase, putting it among the top 30 countries in the world, and Hungarian industry will forge close ties with the German industry, the country's biggest export partner. "We will eliminate [Hungary's] foreign financial dependence, its energy dependence, and rescue foreign currency debtors", he said. He put the number of Hungarian SME exporters at 10,000 and the number of Hungarian multinationals at 15-20 in the future.