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Interfax: No further fiscal correction steps necessary, says Hungarian PM Gyurcsany

12.2.2007 16:23

BUDAPEST. FEBRUARY 12. INTERFAX CENTRAL EUROPE - Fiscal corrective steps taken by Hungary to create economic balances have thus far proved successful and, barring any extraordinary developments, no further such steps will be necessary, Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said on Monday.

"Based on the experiences of the past few months, I can say that the corrective measures have been successful," Gyurcsany said in parliament, addressing MPs in the chamber's first spring session. "Unless the world stands on its head, there will be no need for any further corrective steps."

Gyurcsany pointed to a state budget deficit below expectations in each of the past several months, and a final deficit for 2006 that was less than planned, as evidence that no further steps are needed.

"There is no need to intervene in ongoing budget processes," he said. "The results of the corrective steps are now within reach."

In order to cut the country's ballooning deficit, which came in at an expected 9.6% of GDP last year, the highest in the European Union, the government passed a series of measures, including price hikes and spending cutbacks, aimed at reducing the deficit to around 3% by 2009.

However, the prime minister added that budget control must remain "tight."

According to Gyurcsany, real wages are likely to drop by around 2-3% this year, but no further decrease is expected in 2008, while real wages could again settle on a growth path from 2009.

"Following 2009, we should use about one-half of the yields from economic growth on increasing wages, while the other half should be used for investments," said Gyurcsany.

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