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S&P downgrade not about real performance of Hungarian economy, PM spokesman says

Standard & Poor’s downgrade of Hungary’s sovereign rating is in no way justified by actual economic processes, it is about the euro crisis rather than Hungary, the Prime Ministers spokesman Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday. The government will carry on with its policies, he added.

Standard and Poor’s lowered its long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings on Hungary to ‘BB+/B’ from ‘BBB-/A-3’, with a continued negative outlook, late on Wednesday.

The spokesman recalled that the Prime Minister had predicted earlier that a speculative attack on Hungary should be expected in the middle of December. "One of the peculiarities of such speculative attacks is that they tend to occur in the vicinity of debt rating decisions", Mr Szijjarto said.

Recalling that S&P has put 15 euro area countries on creditwatch negative, the spokesman said that "apparently, this is the season for it at S&P".

The government will carry on with its policies that will reorganise, renew and make Hungary one of the most competitive economic environments in Europe, Mr Szijjarto said.

Answering questions the spokesman said that the official talks with the IMF would start in January, and he was "not aware" of any change in this schedule.