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HUF 130 bln-140 bln in additional fiscal savings needed

Hungary needs to make HUF 130 billion-140 billion in fiscal savings this year if the government is to ensure its commitment to bring the general government deficit under 3% of GDP, National Economy Ministry state secretary Zoltán Cséfalvay said on commercial television broadcaster tv2 early Wednesday.

"We believe that everything in the Széll Kálmán Plan, and those parts of the plan for this year if finalized, will take care of this difference," Cséfalvay said, speaking about a decision by European Union finance ministers on Tuesday to suspend part of Hungary's Cohesion Fund allocation from 2013.

The ministers stressed in the decision that the suspension would be lifted immediately at a meeting of Ecofin in June if Hungary takes the necessary steps to rein in its fiscal deficit under the 3% of GDP threshold.

Cséfalvay explained that the savings would come from Széll Kálmán measures that had been postponed or cancelled, such as those affecting public transport and drug subsidies.

Cséfalvay said the ministers' decision was more favorable than expected, considering the suspension could be lifted in June, rather than September, as expected earlier. He added that Hungary would make the adjustments expected of the country before then.