Gov't ready to start talks with IMF/EU at any time

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Prime Ministerial Spokesman Péter Szijjártó said at a press conference on Thursday that the government stands ready to begin talks with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union at any moment, "even at any second".

Szijjártó said that "it is in our interest for the talks to begin as soon as possible" and to conclude an agreement at the earliest possible date as well.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, speaking at talks with leaders from the Hungarian European Business Council, said that the government will not diverge from its present debt-reduction path. Orbán added that the government intends to transform Hungary into the most competitive production center in Europe, noting that the country's employment rate must increase in order to achieve this objective.

The prime minister said that he and the council, which is composed of leaders from 15 multinational corporations operating in Hungary, had agreed to establish a consultative office to coordinate continuous communication between the government and the council.

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