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Why the government is tough about the IMF talks

September 22nd, 2012

A leading pro-government commentator argues that Hungary can afford to be tough at the negotiations with the IMF-EU duo, and is right to stand up for its own interests.

In Heti Válasz, editor Gábor Borókai does not consider it tragic that “we have no idea” when Hungary will sign a credit line agreement with the IMF and the European Union. He acknowledges that the loan Hungary asked for late last year would serve as a safety guarantee in the event of a sudden financial crisis in Southern Europe, but sees no urgency at present. Hungary can therefore afford to be “tough” in defending its own economic policies against the priorities of the negotiating partners. He believes, nevertheless that in communicating this “toughness”, the government goes too far, and he finds expressions like “freedom fight” overly exaggerated, however efficient they may be in our era of “mass democracy”. Such language does help people understand, he continues,  that “creditors should not be taken for charitable welfare institutions.”In addition, this communication strategy serves to show to what extent the present government is different from its predecessors, who accepted all conditions proposed by the creditors. Borókai believes the delay is mainly caused by a divergence of opinion on the extent to which big business should share the burdens of keeping public finances in the black.

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