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Still no mandate for start of official IMF-EU negotiations

The International Monetary Fund and the European Union have not yet issued a mandate to delegations to start official negotiations with Hungary on a precautionary financial assistance package, business daily Világgazdaság reported on Thursday, citing the press office of minister without portfolio Tamás Fellegi.

The paper put the question to Fellegi, who is in charge of negotiations with the IMF and EU, after other members of the government said the talks on the precautionary assistance would start at the end of March.

The office said talks on preparations for the start of the official negotiations are underway, but the government is waiting for a response from the European Commission to a letter it wrote on recently launched infringement procedures.

The European Commission launched the accelerated infringement procedure against Hungary on concerns over the country's new Central Bank Act, the mandatory retirement age for judges and the data protection authority.