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Hungary seeks three-year, €15 bln precautionary financing from IMF/EU

Hungary\'s government wants to sign an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union on three-year precautionary financing of about €15 billion, Mihály Varga, the country\'s new chief negotiator for the deal, said in an interview published in daily Magyar Hirlap.

\"We\'re interested in signing an agreement in the shortest time possible, but, realistically, we can count on early autumn,\" Varga told the paper.

He stressed that the current fiscal measures ensure Hungary will meet its general government deficit targets for 2012 and 2013, which means an end to the EU\'s Excessive Deficit Procedure the country has undergone since 2004.

Asked if the government has a contingency plan in case the recession in Europe drags on, Varga said preparations must be made for all possible outcomes considering the uneasy mood of the market at present, but he added that the government\'s base scenario shows a slight improvement in the eurozone from the middle of this year, which could support growth in Hungary.

Varga takes over as Hungary\'s chief negotiator on the financing from June 1. He replaces Tamás Fellegi, who resigned after clearing the way for the start of official negotiations with the international bodies.