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Start of IMF talks remains top priority for gov't

The start of talks with the International Monetary Fund as soon as possible remains a high priority for the Hungarian government, but the cabinet rejects any preconditions to negotiations that do not have anything to do with economic policy, Tamás Fellegi, Hungary's chief negotiator on an IMF-EU deal, said in Parliament on Tuesday.

"We are prepared, talks can start at any time," Fellegi said, addressing a question by an MP of opposition LMP.

Fellegi said there was no communication gap, stalling or procrastination in connection with the talks. On the contrary, Hungary is part of expedited procedures, he said, adding that talks could have started long ago if they were to concern economic policy exclusively.

He said starting talks at the earliest possible time was still a priority for the Hungarian government. However, it rejected the idea that the list of issues to be addressed at talks should contain elements which have nothing to do with economic policy or economic governance.

Fellegi emphasized that the two sides had been at a far distance when they started negotiating in December last year and now they were "relatively close".