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PM highlights approval of 2010 budget

Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai stressed the importance of approving the 2010 budget in a speech at the opening of the autumn session of Parliament on Monday.

“If we do our tasks well, this will be the last crisis management budget,” Bajnai told MPs. The 2010 budget is “cut to fit and responsible,” it ensures tax cuts, guards the financial balance, reinforces social security and public security and supports job creation, but it also requires much sacrifice, he added.

The budget is about crisis management, but also about growth; there is no need for bigger austerity measures, nor can any more be allocated by the government, Bajnai said.

The position of the Hungarian economy is much more stable than a few months ago, he said, adding that the government had itself asked the International Monetary Fund to extend the call-down deadline for the country's stand-by loan by six months until the end of next spring because “it appears there won't be a need for it.”

The new government successfully prevented the economy from falling apart in its five months of operation, but there is more hard work ahead to make Hungary stronger, Bajnai said. The crisis is not over yet, he added.

The government will do everything it can to preserve jobs, Bajnai said. State subsidies have preserved more than 70,000 workplaces, but “we can't lean back - unemployment is still high and there is still much to do,” he added.

Bajnai spoke about subsidies aimed at supporting domestic SME’s, the improved performance of the construction sector, the stabilizing forint, and how the country's risk indicator has dropped by a third. “We have taken back our financial sovereignty,” he said.

Bajnai warned that steps must still be taken to prevent the economic crisis from snowballing into a social crisis. For this reason, social and public security must be reinforced.

In spite of the crisis, the government will ensure all state co-financing for projects supported with EU development grants is paid out. (MTI-ECONEWS)