BUDAPEST, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Following are comments from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on a planned new international financing deal and on recent European Union criticism of legislation passed by his government, including a law on the central bank.
Brussels said on Wednesday Hungary should bring its new central bank law and judicial reform in line with EU norms or it could face possible EU legal action, complicating Budapest’s efforts to secure funding and shield its currency.
The European Commission said it would rule on the disputed laws on Jan. 17, when it finishes its legal analysis.
Orban’s made his comments in English, speaking to a group of foreign correspondents.
“Our general approach is that we are open and flexible, we are ready to negotiate all the points, but what we need is not political opinion but arguments.
“And when the arguments on behalf of the European Union are convincing, then it’s better to accept and follow that line. There is no reason not to do that. We are absolutely open and flexible and waiting for the argument.”
“But yesterday’s comments from the EU did not contain any argument, just opinion, saying that they don’t like it, it’s against the general legislation of the EU. But we would like to get more specific points on the points (where) they would like to see modifications or corrections. And we are ready to consider it.”
“No pressure, but arguments, that is the general item of our policy.”
“Now the markets are more optimistic than they were. The fundamentals of the Hungarian economy proved to be far stronger than many suggested ... or perceived.”
“The opinion of the European Commission on the EDP is rather promising for us because they criticised only for the past, 2010 and 2011.”
“It’s a clear sign that we are very close or even we have an agreement on the possible and wished performance of the Hungarian economy and the budget on 2012.”
“In 2012, without any extraordinary measures, the budget deficit will be for the first time ever after joining the EU below 3 percent. I think the EU, the Commission did not deny that fact, which is promising. So I think we are very close to each other to agree on 2012 and even on 2013.”
“That generates a better climate on the market and I am sure that after an agreement with the IMF we will be able to stay on the financial market.”
“So when we are able to stay on the financial market and at the same time we have the financial background of the agreement with the IMF, when this package is put together - then the economy can (go) forward towards stronger economic growth.”
“And my best case scenario is that in one month... the main subject relating to the Hungarian economy is not how to finance the economy, but how successful the growth plan could be.”