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PM says govt to continue to urge that EU implement proposals

  Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány told MTI on Monday that the government will continue to urge that the European Union implement its stabilization and integration program, elements of which the prime minister presented at in informal meeting of EU leaders in Brussels on Sunday.

Gyurcsány said that he considered the response of EU leaders at the Sunday meeting to Hungary’s three stabilization and integration proposals -- aimed at requiring banks to support their units in central and eastern Europe, expediting the process of euro-convergence and spurring liquidity in the region -- to be encouraging.

Gyurcsány noted that the proposals were only informally circulated among member states without being put on the official agenda, adding that the Sunday meetings served as an occasion to test the response of member countries.

The prime minister remarked that he regarded the recognition among EU leaders of Hungary’s firm intention to require banks to take care of their units in central Europe to represent a success.

With regard to the proposal to accelerate the process of euro-convergence, Gyucsány noted that Eurogroup Chairman and Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker had said on Sunday evening that EU leaders could consider shortening the two-year period in which the currencies of euro zone candidates must belong to the European Union’s Exchange Rate Mechanism-2 (ERM-2), adding that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made similar statements.

Gyurcsány emphasized that Hungary intends to satisfy the Maastricht criteria. The prime minister commented with respect to the proposal aimed at increasing liquidity in the region that the finance program announced on Friday was in many ways a precursor to the proposal.

The prime minister remarked that press reports suggesting that EU leaders had rejected his proposals were a product of excessive expectations. Gyurcsány said that it would be naive to expect that regulations requiring years of common effort might be changed at an informal meeting such as that which took place in Brussels on Sunday.

The prime minister noted that there is currently support for European-wide financial market supervision, recalling the cool reception his call for such oversight received a year ago. “The important thing is that public discussion has begun with regard to these problems,” the prime minister said. (MTI-Econews)