Hungary expects its loan talks with the IMF and EU to resume in the second half of October, and trusts an agreement will be signed by the end of the year, Hungary’s chief talks negotiator Mihaly Varga told public television M1′s evening news programme on Wednesday. The negotiations will likely be resumed after the International Monetary Fund holds its annual meeting, he said. The meeting will be held from October 9 to 14.
The government sent a letter with alternative proposals to the IMF and the EC on Wednesday morning. The proposals contain its planned steps to reach an agreement with the IMF/EU concerning financial assistance to the country, he said.
“We have made proposals for possible changes in connection with with the public finances and budget,” Varga said. He added that the government was committed to fully implementing its job protection programme, though he said it was possible the plan could be fine-tuned.
Varga, who is also a minister without portfolio, said a date for the EU/IMF delegation to return to Hungary could be set as early as next week.
Asked if there was discord within the ruling Fidesz parliamentary group about the loan agreement, Varga said both the party’s lawmakers and the government were united in saying that Hungary sought a safety net from the IMF.
The parliamentary group has made it clear what the loan agreement should not contain under any circumstances, Varga said, referring to measures “part of the 2008 IMF loan agreement that badly hit Hungarians.” As examples, he mentioned the property tax, scrapping an extra month’s pension and wages for public employees.