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Bajnai still sees big tasks ahead

The government of Gordon Bajnai passed its biggest test yet on Monday, when Parliament approved a broad package of tax measures for 2010, but the prime minister still sees work cut out for him, just nine months before the next general elections, an interview with business weekly HVG reveals.

Asked by HVG whether it was worthwhile for the government, which replaced that of Ferenc Gyurcsány through a constructive motion of no confidence in April, to remain in place for the next nine months, Bajnai said “more, very important decisions are ahead of us.”

“We have to put in place in the budget all that we have done so far. In addition to this, it is extremely important that we make savings of more than HUF 100 billion in the local and central governments as well as in long distance transportation if we are to stick to next year's budget and keep the country on a sustainable path,” he said.

Bajnai delivered a positive assessment of the government's first three and a two and a half months in office, saying it had finally done things that had to be done but were not for the past ten years because the big political parties always pursued their own interests.

“The government has proved in its first 75 days that it could break established political taboos that made the country's operation unsustainable,” he said.

Asked whether there was any pressure for the government to loosen the purse strings in the run-up to the election, Bajnai said, “I can say with certainty that there will not be an election budget.”

“Basically, this government is like a government of technocrats, its actions are directed primarily to put the country's house in order in the shortest time possible...and hand it over to whoever gets the mandate in the next election in a repaired and sustainable state,” he said. (MTI-ECONEWS)