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PM asks central bank to participate in euro plan

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány visited the National Bank of Hungay (MNB) today for the very first time and he asked monetary policy makers to participate in drafting the country’s euro-adoption plan. Gyurcsány made it clear that Hungary plans to meet terms to switch to the European Union’s common currency by 2008, at a press conference after the visit in the bank, in Budapest today. He also added that there was a ”joint will” between the government and the central bank to solidify the country's economy, make the “new balance” come true. The bank is open to working with the government though Gyurcsány’s budget deficit-cutting measures, including higher taxes – legislation was signed by the president on Monday - and regulated prices, are steering the economy in the “wrong direction,” central bank President Zsigmond Járai said at the briefing. The government and the bank have different opinions about the need to cut social spending as part of the government’s deficit-reduction plan, Gyurcsány said. It was the first, hopefully not the last, meeting between the two men since the fourth quarter of 2004. (Bloomberg, MTI)