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IMF/EU decline comment on latest round of fiscal adjustments

A European Commission spokesman and the International Monetary Fund's representative in Budapest declined to comment on Wednesday on remarks by Hungary's economy minster that suggested a new round of fiscal adjustments were planned under extreme pressure from the European Union.

National Economy Minister György Matolcsy announced an additional HUF 367 billion of fiscal adjustments early Wednesday that aim to end the European Union's Excessive Deficit Procedure against Hungary and ensure the country can avail of is full Cohesion Fund allocation. He said the additional steps are needed because the EC assessed that measures announced earlier in October would have only about two-thirds of their estimated HUF 397 billion fiscal effect and Hungary's economy would not grow as much as the government anticipates.

Asked a question at a regular press briefing on Wednesday, EC's Simon O'Connor would not comment on the measures announced by Matolcsy, but said the Commission would assess member states' draft budgets in the context of its autumn forecasts to be published on November 7.

"Obviously the Commission fully expects Hungary...to maintain their commitments in the context of the excessive deficit procedure," he said. "Beyond that I have no particular comments," he added.

Iryna Ivaschenko, the IMF’s representative in Budapest, also declined to comment for the time being on the measures announced by Matolcsy.