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UPDATE - Former State Audit Office chief to chair Fiscal Council

Arpad Kovacs, the former head of the State Audit Office (ASZ), was appointed on Tuesday by the president of the republic to chair the Fiscal Council.

Mr Kovacs replaces Zsigmond Jarai, who resigned because the Fiscal Council’s expanded tasks created a situation that made his position incompatible with fulfilling other functions in the private and public sector.

Mr Jarai is chairman of the National Bank of Hungary’s supervisory board. He is also chairman of the supervisory board of insurer CIG Pannonia and a member of the board of directors of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL.

Mr Kovacs told MTI on Tuesday that the proper operation of the Fiscal Council increases confidence in the country. He said it was "very important" that Hungary reach a planned agreement with the International Monetary Fund, not primarily because of the money, but because it strengthens the country's financeability, sending a signal to money markets and serving as a safety net.