In an interview with index.hu, László Andor, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affair and Inclusion argued that the Hungarian government knows what the conditions for an EU/IMF loan are, and that minister without portfolio Tamás Fellegi and Commissioner Olli Rehn had discussed this back in January. Andor added that was the reason the government was making changes to its policy was to come in line with what the EU wants.
Although Orbán’s March 15th speech and EU Commission President José Manual Barroso’s response were quite sharp, working out the technical details seems to be happening, and the fact that Hungary is quickly working together in the area of justice signals that the government is willing to compromise.
Andor also had comments about how he felt that the financial crisis in the euro zone was not being addressed well, stressing that his comments did not apply to Hungary. Andor stated that a country outside the union could previously devalue their currency during times of economic hardship, but Hungary was not in that position due to the amount of forex loans taken out by its citizens.
The commissioner also defended the core EU states from accusations that the current crisis was to their benefit at the periphery’s cost, as well seeking to clarify that his recommendation on strengthening employee rights would focus primarily on the building sector, adding that it woul not introduce new legislation, merely reinforce the laws already on the books.
Andor defended his much criticized decision not to be present at the meeting about potentially withholding EU cohesion funds from Hungary, saying he had written an opinion, and that that the decision was made by EU finance ministers, which itself was not final.
Contrary to what many say in Hungary and abroad, the Hungarian government does not know about any preconditions under which the International Monetary Fund and the European Union would be ready to hold talks on financial aid, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said on Tuesday. Martonyi told commercial TV channel ATV’s news programme that imposing political preconditions on Hungary would be unacceptable. Commenting on a meeting behind closed doors by the European affairs committee in parliament on Tuesday, where the infringement procedures against Hungary were discussed, Martonyi said Hungary’s aim was to sign a precautionary agreement with the IMF which would in turn demonstrate that the money “is not needed”. Martonyi said political matters could not be linked to the planned loan agreement. He quoted the example of the independence of the central bank which he said “seems to be basically settled”. On the retirement age for judges at 62, he said “this is not an issue that would affect economic policy.” “If anyone sets political conditions then I believe this would be unacceptable,” Martonyi said. He added that he would find it surprising if political conditions were to be set in Washington.
Source: index.hu, MTI
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 April 2012 06:54