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WSJE says Hungary austerity still only a promise

The Hungarian government’s austerity plans remain "elusive" after its 40-page document published "with upbeat plans" last week "didn’t deliver quite what economists had expected", Wall Street Journal Europe (WSJE) reported. According to WSJE, the governing Fidesz has dragged its heel over cutting spending since it won general elections last year with a promise of no more austerity, and rejected calls for lowering spending from the EU and the International Monetary Fund. Fidesz speaks about structural reforms, not austerity, yet it plans to cut state subsidies for pharmaceuticals, public transport and education, the paper said. But Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's party has so far "plugged budget holes with controversial one-off moves" and may be just "buying time to avoid the bitter cup of unpopular steps that could shatter its hopes for a second term in power" in 2014, WSJE said.