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Budget gap target rises to include motorways

Hungary will raise its budget deficit targets for each year through 2008 to account for the full cost of highway construction projects, Finance Minister János Veres said on Tuesday.

The government will raise this year's target for a second time, to 8.6% from a revised 8%, while the 2007 and 2008 goals will also move upwards, Veres said yesterday at a press conference in Brussels. The current targets are 5% for next year and 3.5% for 2008. The EU earlier rejected Hungary's attempt to keep road construction costs off the budget.
Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and Veres met Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia to discuss Hungary’s Convergence Program, which outlines the path to euro adoption. “Hungary does not have a specified Euro introduction target date at the moment,” Veres said after the meeting. The target will be included in Hungary’s convergence program, he added. The document is to be completed and submitted by September 1.