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Draskovics assures US investors Hungary will carry through with reforms

Government commissioner Tibor Draskovics assured top officials of major US investment banks in New York on Monday that there is no danger that the Hungarian government will relax its budget policy and hold back on reforms with the approach of the 2010 elections.

Draskovics's four-day US trip is aimed at informing US government offices, international financial institutions and some investors on the progress of structural reforms in Hungary. Draskovics said top officials at JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Stone Harbor and Oppenheimer Fund „are following what is happening in Hungary with great appreciation and interest, and they consider our budget program credible and successful and our reform program as moving in the right direction.” Investors were the most interested in whether the government has sufficient determination to carry out the reform process further, to which the government commissioner gave a positive answer.

Draskovics noted that investors are also interested in the Hungarian opposition's policies and their involvement in the reform process. „I had to say that there are no positive proposals on the table from the opposition,” he said. He conceded that the Hungarian government's policies are not popular in the short term, but he expressed his conviction that it will be successful and it serves the interests of the country. He said the disturbances of last autumn were the actions of extremist groups and „did not reflect social opinion in general.” Draskovics also said that the issue of euro adoption was understandably brought up everywhere, but he believes that investors are not mainly interested in the adoption date but rather in whether the budget position is improving and reforms are moving forward because this will improve their investment prospects. Draskovics will visit top government officials in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday. ( bg.)