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Hungary talks with IMF-EU could start

Hungary can start talks on precautionary financial assistance it is seeking from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union "within weeks", National Economy Ministry state secretary Gyula Pleschinger said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

"Based on informal responses, we can say that the (aid) talks can start once Hungary implements the proposed changes into law, I think this can happen within weeks," Reuters quoted Pleschinger as saying.

He said the talks could start after the Central Bank Act is amended, as agreed on with the European Union.

The Commission said earlier on Wednesday that Hungary had taken "sufficient action and commitments" to start negotiations on in the financial assistance.

Pleschinger said that the government had also agreed not to expand the central bank's rate-setting Monetary Council and appoint a third deputy governor during the tenure of Governor András Simor, which expires early next year.

He added that talks on the financial assistance could wind up quickly with an agreement as the sides were not far apart from one another over "substance" in economic policy.

He said Hungary would not take a decision on any forex debt issue until after the start of the talks, taking into consideration market sentiment.