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Government to stick to 2010 euro adoption target date

Hungary will reiterate its pledge to adopt the euro in 2010 when the government submits an updated convergence report to the European Commission, Gábor Kuncze, head of the Free Democrats told the press. European Union Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia November 18 warned Hungary not to move the target date. The Commission on October 20 reprimanded Hungary for failing to bring its budget deficit below EU limits and in January will propose new spending measures for the government. Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, who faces elections in six
months, must cut the deficit in half by 2008 after the government
missed its targeted shortfall in four consecutive years. Hungary
will stick to that target, even after the premier said he won't
quickly cut the deficit, Kuncze said. "There's no debate about this within the government right now," Kuncze told reporters in Budapest today. "The target date stays."
Gyurcsány on November 19 asked European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso for three extra years to cut the country's budget deficit to 3% of gross domestic product, required for euro adoption, Napi Gazdaság reported today, citing the premier.
The government aims to cut the budget deficit to 4.7% of GDP next year from an estimated 6.1% in 2005. The shortfall may widen to 6.7% next year and 6.9% in 2007, the commission said in a report on November 17.