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Hungary talks with IMF, EU break down

Talks between Hungary and delegations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission on a financial assistance package broke down, a spokesman for Vice President of the European Commission Olli Rehn told MTI on Friday.

Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said the talks were broken off because of a proposed amendment affecting the National Bank of Hungary.

The decision to break off the talks was personally made by Mr Rehn.

Hungary said in November it was seeking financial assistance from the IMF and EC as a precautionary measure.

Hungary’s parliament is scheduled to debate a bill on the new Central Bank Act in an accelerated procedure on Friday. The act is necessary because of the country’s new constitution, which comes into force on January 1, 2012.

The bill would give the central bank more rate-setters and a third deputy governor as well as require the board of directors to submit their agenda to the government.

The European Central Bank said in an opinion issued on Thursday that the bill could be detrimental to the NBH’s independence.