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PM Orbán says downgrade expected outcome of “unconventional” measures

Hungary's downgrade by credit rating agency Moody's was an expected outcome of the government's efforts to stimulate the economy with “unconventional methods,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Stockholm.

“The rating will no doubt be raised again in the near future, once the results of the government's efforts to boost the economy can be seen,” Orbán told a news conference.

Moody's on Monday put Hungary's credit rating down to one notch above “junk” status.

Orbán said “nobody likes crisis taxes, bank taxes, but soon analysts will understand that the Hungarian government is taking necessary steps to reduce state debt and the budget deficit.”

Orbán insisted that the general government deficit would not exceed 3% of GDP in 2011.

The economy is in a better state now than it was in June, when it topped the list of “bad boys”, he said. He added that the government aims to reduce the state debt from 80% to 70% of GDP by 2014-2015, and to create 1 million jobs.

“Hungary and Sweden will be the only two European Union countries to reduce their state debt in 2011,” he said.

Orbán attended a meeting in Stockholm with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt about Hungary's preparations to the European Union presidency in the first half of 2011. Orbán and Reinfeldt agreed that fiscal rigor and credibility were very important aims. (MTI – Econews)