Hungary abandoned its official 2010 euro-adoption target date after raising its budget deficit goals for each year through 2008, Economy Minister János Kóka said.
”There is no target date now, only a target, and that is to push the budget shortfall under the 3% threshold as soon as we can,” Kóka said today on the sidelines of a Budapest press briefing. “The new Convergence Program will set the new date.”
The government will raise this year's target for a second time to account for the full cost of highway construction, to 8.6% from a revised 8%. The 2007 and 2008 goals will also move upwards, Finance Minister János Veres said on Tuesday at a press conference in Brussels. The current targets are 5% for next year and 3.5% for 2008.
Hungary, which has missed its budget deficit targets in each of the past four years and already revised this year's goal from 4.7%, earlier targeted to meet euro terms by 2008 and switch to the currency two years later. The European Union has rejected Hungary's attempt to keep road costs off the budget and gave the government until September 1 to submit a new program, which outlines the path to euro adoption. (Bloomberg)