Head of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) Zsigmond Járai told a press conference on Wednesday that “big changes to the budget” would be necessary for Hungary to introduce the euro.
He added that the market expects the introduction only in 2013-2014, well past the 2010 target date. Járai said introducing the euro would boost Hungary's economic growth rate at least 2 percentage points. He noted that Hungary's current growth rate of 4%-4.5% is "not bad", but it is still low compared to other new EU members. Hungary's biggest problem is that most growth is the result of consumption and state investments, he said. Járai criticized the government for failing to make use of the favorable financing environment to shore up the budget deficit, warning that the time would come when cheap money would no longer be available. Járai said he hoped Hungary's post-election government would start a serious reform program.