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Orbán envisions nationalizing pension funds

If Hungary cannot have the costs of its pension reform accounted for in its deficit, the possibility of nationalizing pension funds “will become an urgent and topical issue”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told Parliament.

It won't work for Hungary to sink HUF 300-400 billion into its present pension fund system, which is both privately- and state-owned, while it has to keep the deficit below 3% of GDP, Orbán said.

The Prime Minister's statement is in stark contrast with a comment by Economy Minister György Matolcsy, who last week said Hungary will meet its 3% deficit target in 2011 with a budget that assumes the EU won’t allow any reductions for the pension overhaul. (Portfolio)