July 20th, 2012

European Commission closes infringement procedure against Hungary on idependence of central bank


The European Commission on Thursday officially closed an infringement procedure against Hungary it launched in January over the independence of the central bank, a statement from Brussels said.

The decision was taken after Hungarian parliament passed amendments to its Central Bank Act on July 6, in line with the outcome of talks between Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on April 24, the statement said.

Among the amendments, approved by the ruling parties and the opposition Socialists and LMP, were such provisions that any proposal to lay off the central bank governor or members of the Monetary Council may only be submitted after a Hungarian or EU final court decision, that the rate-setting Monetary Council is not obliged to inform the government about its agenda and that council meetings would not be attended by a government representative.

The International Monetary Fund started official talks with Hungary on a financial backstop on Tuesday, shortly after the central bank amendments were passed.


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