UPDATE - MNB governor says resolution of eurozone crisis should not harm non-zone states

EU

The euro-zone debt crisis should be resolved in a way that causes no damage to states outside the zone, National Bank of Hungary (MNB) governor Andras Simor said during a roundtable discussion at the Euromoney financial conference in Vienna on Wednesday.

Mr Simor said that the some Central-East European countries such as Hungary are more deeply integrated into the eurozone than some states on zone’s periphery. The measures aimed at resolving the crisis should be formulated in cooperation with those countries, he said.

During crisis management, the focus should be on fiscal sustainability rather than on fiscal discipline, Mr Simor said.

There is a need for rules which help to create jobs and enhance innovation as well as improve competitiveness and confidence.

Mr Simor talked of the need for a stable and reliable environment. All market players take risks but these should not be legal or regulatory risks, the MNB governor said.

In connection with Hungary’s adoption of the euro, the central bank governor said the question is not whether Hungary should join the euro zone, but what the best timing for the move would be.

"We’ll probably have to wait and see whether the attempts to solve the current problems of the euro zone will prove successful," Mr Simor said. Hungary also has the advantage that it can draw the lessons from the earlier enlargements of the euro zone and adopt the euro only when its economy has already been prepared, he added.

Answering a question concerning the independence of the central bank, Mr Simor said the national bank "cannot be anything else but independent". "The answer is clear. We are members of the European Union, the EU stipulates for the independence of the central bank and Hungarian legislation also stipulates for that," he said.

"There have been lively debates between the government and the European Commission. Several members of the government, including the prime minister, have declared that the government will respect the independence of the central bank. I cannot but believe the prime minister," Andras Simor said.

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