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Hungary's PM says he will resign if parliament rejects budget bill

Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai on Wednesday said he would resign if parliament rejects the 2010 budget bill in November, though he said he was confident that the bill would clear Parliament.

Giving a lecture in Columbia University, Bajnai said that his crisis-managing government has a raison d'etre as long as it is able to take very important steps in very short time to handle the crisis.

In a question and answer session, he said, “It makes no sense having a lame duck government - it would be worse than early elections.”

Bajnai said he was optimistic of the outcome, and Parliament had already approved the toughest measures, namely the tax, pension and social-welfare reforms.

He reaffirmed his commitment not to run in parliamentary elections next spring.

The international financial markets view Hungary's economy more positively, he said, citing recent assessments by Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and other banks of London and New York.

Bajnai expressed concern over the spread of protectionism and nationalism in various regions, saying that politicians tend to use nationalism to conceal economic problems that they are unable or unwilling to solve.

Bajnai said whoever wins the elections next year, they should pursue a policy of sober mind, an austere and sound economic policy. (MTI-Econews)