December 6, 2012 / 11:56 AM / in 5 years

Hungary must keep low deficit through 2013 -minister

BUDAPEST, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Hungary must keep its budget shortfall below 3 percent of economic output for three consecutive years, including the pre-election year 2013, to get out of the European Union’s deficit procedure, minister Mihaly Varga said on Thursday.

“We cannot do anything else in 2013 either. We can only get out of the Excessive Deficit Procedure if the deficit remains below 3 percent in three successive years,” Varga told a business conference.

“In 2011 we have achieved this, in 2012 the deficit will be 2.7-2.8 percent (of GDP) and we cannot do anything else in 2013 otherwise we will have to confront the European Commission about the EDP in the most sensitive period before the elections,” he said.

Hungary holds elections in the first half of 2014. (Reporting by Gergely Szakacs)

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