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Orbán plans to cut taxes, tackle corruption

Tax cuts, a "comprehensive attack" on red tape, battling corruption and reforming the state are among the first economic policy plans of the Fidesz government, Viktor Orbán, the next prime minister, said on Monday.

Orbán told an international press conference that the most important economic job is to boost Hungary's competitiveness. The most important political tasks include restoring unity, a feeling of social security and law and order, he added.

"Within a short time, Hungary must be made the most competitive economy in the region," Orbán said.

Fidesz's economic policy does not focus on austerity but on economic growth, he said.

Orbán said austerity measures had worked against the growth of the economy.

By the time the new government is set up, by mid or late May, the budget deficit is projected to reach 90-100 percent of the annual target, Orbán said, adding that "there will be no reserves left for the second half of the year."

The deficit target will be impossible to keep by the end of the year "not only because the new government will want to set a new target but because of the given situation; the IMF, the European Union, international investors and the Hungarian economists must understand this," Orbán said.

The first issue is to assess the situation. An economic assessment committee will be able to show a clear picture by the middle or end of May of what needs to be done, Orbán added. He said he would be able to offer a schedule for the budget deficit only after this assessment is completed.

Orbán said that without yet having secured a mandate he was not in a position to negotiate with the IMF or the EU, but he said that Fidesz was already involved in consultations with the two organisations.

He said that Hungary would be in need of every kind of agreement with market players and organizations outside of the market because the economy stood on such shaky ground while an aura of uncertainty and a lack of trust surrounded the country.

He pledged to form economic alliances with international partners, as well as with chambers of investors and businessmen, employers and employees within the country, adding that without such alliances it will be impossible to lift the country out of its current morass.

Commenting on the possible transformation of the system of local governments and the central state, as well as the regulation of companies in the hands of municipalities, he said that it was obvious that the party would need to secure a larger majority in parliament than the one gained after the first round. Orbán said, however, that if that sufficient majority was theirs, then Fidesz would not beat about the bush and take swift measures by the end of the first half of the year.

Orbán said there was no time to waste.

"There's no time to think about things for a hundred days and ask for patience," he said. (MTI)