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IMF ready to resume talks at any time


The International Monetary Fund is ready to resume negotiations with Hungary at any time, an IMF spokeswoman said on Thursday (evening in Hungarian time) as the country's prime minister signaled he would not seek a new IMF program.

"We remain engaged with the Hungarian authorities and we are ready to resume the specific negotiations and return there at any time," spokeswoman Caroline Atkinson told a regular news briefing.

The EU and IMF suspended talks over the country's €20 billion bailout package on Saturday after the government refused to abandon a big tax on bank profits that the IMF said will squeeze lending and affect growth.

Asked whether the Hungarian authorities had informed the IMF it would not seek a new program, Atkinson said: "We are ready to continue discussions." (Reuters)