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IMF deal can be reached but govt has set conditions, says Varga

It is possible that Hungary can reach an agreement on financial aid with international lenders, but the Hungarian government also has conditions attached to any deal, Mihály Varga, the government's chief negotiator in talks with the IMF and EU, said at a roundtable discussion on Friday.

The fate of the talks depends on to what extent they understand in Washington and Brussels that the government has its own concept, its own programme and that a credit agreement could add to that programme, Varga said. If they fail to understand this, then negotiations will be drawn out for a long time and there will not be a deal in the end, he added.
"We are for an agreement," he said. Varga said that the European Commission and the IMF were likely to indicate in early to mid-November if they wished to continue talks with Hungary. Varga said Hungary should not make a deal similar to the IMF loan agreement signed in 2008, as its consequences had weighed heavily on ordinary people. He said the difference between the then (Hungarian Socialist Party-led) government and the current Fidesz-administration was that the former "subserviently followed all instructions to take austerity measures" while the latter "has put its foot down and tries to represent the interests of the nation".