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Negotiations with IMF/EU will be faster than preparations, says chief negotiator

Hungary's official negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union on precautionary financing will be faster than preparations for the talks as the country has met pre-conditions, Hungary's new chief negotiator for the package Mihály Varga said on public television late Wednesday.

Varga said the official negotiations with the IMF/EU could start at the beginning or in the middle of the summer. He reiterated that the government wants to reach an agreement on the credit as soon as possible, adding that it still aims to get a precautionary credit agreement.
The government has no conditions, but the three-year, €15 billion package expected by the market is acceptable to the cabinet, he said. Varga said reports the government is to split up the National Economy Ministry were speculation.
He acknowledged that an independent finance ministry has a role to play in government as fiscal policy can be differentiated from economic development, but he said the current situation of the economy was not a result of the lack of such differentiation.
He said that the National Economy Ministry had done a lot of work in the past two years. "We must take out the surplus of this work and use it to kick start growth," he said.
Varga takes over as Hungary's chief negotiator on the financing from June 1. He replaces Tamás Fellegi, who resigned after clearing the way for the start of official negotiations with the international bodies.