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IMF mission chief applauds Hungary's commitment to 2010 deficit target

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief to Hungary Christoph Rosenberg on Wednesday evening hailed the Fidesz-led government's proclaimed commitment to the country's 2010 deficit target of 3.8% of GDP.

Rosenberg, who on Wednesday concluded a three-day visit to Hungary for meetings with financial officials, declared “We welcome the authorities' commitment to the fiscal target of 3.8% of GDP for 2010 agreed under the IMF-EU supported program and their intention to implement corrective measures as needed to ensure that this target is achieved and that the Hungarian economy continues on a sustainable path.”

“These measures and other policies under the program will be formally discussed in the course of the next review mission, which is scheduled for early July 2010,” the IMF mission chief to Hungary added.

Rosenberg said he, together with experts from the European Commission, had “useful talks” in Budapest of the Hungarian government's plans for 2010 and beyond.

The IMF said before the visit Rosenberg's visit aims at establishing contact with the new government with whom they intend to cooperate.

The IMF approved Hungary a €12 billion stand-by loan in November 2008 as part of a €20 billion financial-support package, including a €6.5 billion contribution from the European Union.

The originally 17-month arrangement has been extended to October 2010, and Hungary has called down €8.27 billion of the IMF arrangement to date. All the reviews, including the last one - the fifth review - in March were concluded with releasing the installment in question, Hungary has not called down from the facility, however, since the autumn of September. The last disbursement, of a small SDR 50 million or €54 million, a fragment of an originally planned tranche worth SDR 1.265 billion, happened last September. Released but uncalled installments from the IMF facility total €2.4 billion. (MTI-Econews)