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MNB advisor to be nominated Hungary central bank rate setter

György Kocziszky, an academic, and János Cinkotai, an advisor to the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) governor, will be nominated as members of the central bank's rate-setting Monetary Council on Monday, MTI reported.

Antal Rogán, chairman of Parliament's economy committee, will nominate the two men at a meeting of the committee on Monday. If the committee approves the nomination, Parliament will vote on the appointments on the same day. A simple majority is needed to give the two men six-year mandates.

State wire agency MTI said the nomination of Cinkotai, who is an external advisor to MNB governor András Simor at present, is a gesture.

The relationship between the government and Simor has been strained since Fidesz won a two-thirds majority in Parliament last spring. A government decision to give Parliament, instead of the central bank governor and prime minister, the power to pick external members of the Monetary Council heightened tensions and earned the disapproval of the European Central Bank. The move was seen as reducing MNB's independence and negatively affecting its credibility.

Kocziszky is the dean of the University of Miskolc's Department of Economic Studies.

The mandates of the four external members of the Monetary Council expired on March 1. Parliament approved the appointments of two replacements, Ferenc Gerhardt and Andrea Bártfai-Mager, both economists and former central bankers, on March 7.

The Monetary Council will hold its next rate-setting meeting on March 28.