Hungary could introduce the euro at the beginning of 2014 “if enough wisdom and steadfastness remains after the election”, Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai writes in a article published in the daily Népszabadság.
General elections will be held in April.
A sober economic policy could result in rising employment and an annual average growth of 4% between 2011 and 2014 which would generate excess budget revenues of around HUF 2,000 billion over four years.
Warning against irrational election promises, Bajnai said that the global environment will be unfriendly in the next decade, as the indebtedness of developed countries will make credit scarce, and the necessary fiscal tightening ahead will make global growth slower and competition for market fiercer.
Hungary will have a limited room of maneuver as a result, and meeting and maintaining the Maastricht criteria would require a disciplined economic policy, the Prime Minister said.
The next government could build on the policy shift of the past year. The steps taken in the one year of his government were more than just short-term stabilization measures, Bajnai said, they set the conditions and directions for Hungary to return to the rational economic policies it abandoned in 2001. He cited the changes to the pension and tax systems, and programs to help the re-employment of long-term unemployed.
Bajnai sees the need for a national consensus goal for the country which remains unaffected from shifts in politics, and setting January 2014 as the target date for euro-accession could be such a symbol for a stable, and developing Hungary, he said. (MTI – Econews)