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Varga pledges continuation of economic drive

The government's economic policy will remain on its current course, focusing on reducing debt, establishing balance and increasing employment, minister without Portfolio Mihály Varga, the nominee to replace György Matolcsy as national economy minister, said at a parliamentary committee hearing on Friday. Varga added that another important objective of the government is to place Hungary's economy on a stable growth path. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán Friday nominated Varga to replace Matolcsy, whom the prime minister nominated to serve as the new governor of the National Bank of Hungary. Varga told the committee that the government will not propose an election budget in 2014. The nominee to lead Hungary's national economy ministry said that he does not believe that the government's current 2013 budget should be modified at this time, adding that present uncertainties should be addressed only after the publication of first-quarter GDP data. The GDP figure of Q4 last year was deplorable, but the government is adamant about changing that course, Varga said. Varga specified the lifting of the European Commission's Excessive Deficit Procedure against Hungary as another of the government's goals.