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Uncertainty reigns on Central Bank law

June 6th, 2012

Népszabadság urges the government to revise its reticent attitude towards demands put forward by the EU to ensure the independence of the Hungarian National Bank. Magyar Nemzet cautions against either rejecting or accepting those demands in their entirety.

On Monday, Parliament postponed a decision on a package aimed at soothing the concerns of the European Union about the independence of the National Bank, after the amendments were judged insufficient by the European Central Bank.

In Népszabadság, Bence Kriván recalls that the law which must now be amended, was the one pushed through in December last year, when serious misgivings expressed by the European Union were studiously ignored. The government, Népszabadság continues, knew that its planned amendments would only partially address the concerns voiced by the European Commission earlier this year, but only halted their adoption by Parliament at the very last moment, when the European Central Bank openly criticised them. Kriván calls on the government to urgently revise “its policy of turning a blind eye towards the concerns voiced by the ECB,” as otherwise Hungary will hardly be able to agree with the IMF on a badly needed stand-by credit line.

In Magyar Nemzet, Zsuzsa Nagy Vajda complains that the EU is applying double standards again, requiring Hungary to conform to preconditions the Union did not impose on the previous (left-wing) Hungarian government and is not imposing on the governments of other countries. She believes the government should avoid yielding to the EU on every single point as recommended by the left-wing opposition. She also cautions however against rejecting all demands out of hand, as suggested by the far right. Instead, Nagy Vajda believes, the government should patiently negotiate the demands point by point and reach a reasonable compromise, thus opening the way to an agreement with the IMF.

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