March 3, 2011 / 3:31 PM / 8 years ago

ECB says unhappy with Hungary, says EU could sue

FRANKFURT, March 3 (Reuters) - The European Commission could move to sue Hungary if the row over its central bank is not solved, the head of the European Central Bank said on Thursday.

The ECB has warned Hungary’s centre-right government to respect the independence of the country’s central bank.

Hungary’s Fidesz government, which took office last May, has called for lower interest rates and changed the central bank law to effectively allow the government control over the appointment of a majority of rate setters.

“We were very unsatisfied with the position which was taken by the Hungarian government,” ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said during the central bank’s monthly news conference.

“We have to study the case and see exactly what is the legal next step that would be optimum. I don’t exclude any options, including of course the fact that the commission could move and sue.”

But Trichet added it was not the central bank’s decision. (Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; editing by Patrick Graham)

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