Hungary should be cautious about euro entry: PM Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during a conference in Budapest, Hungary, November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary must be cautious about adopting the euro as it should remain open toward other parts of the world, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.

“We belong to the more cautious camp,” Orban said with regard to European Union states that have not adopted the single currency.

“We want to be an integral part of the European community while at the same time remaining open toward other regions and communities. This will also have to be expressed in our decision about the euro,” he told a conference of central bankers from China and Central and Eastern European region.

Hungary, which has followed a go-it-alone mix of economic policies since Orban rose to power in 2010, has been running a deficit below the EU’s 3 percent ceiling and its economy is expected to grow faster than 4 percent this year.

His government has pursued close relations with China, and Russia, which is building a nuclear plant in Hungary.

Orban’s right-wing nationalist government has also gradually shifted Hungary’s debt program to forint-denominated paper, aiming to reduce its reliance on foreign currency debt that has made it vulnerable to shifts in global sentiment in the past.

Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Angus MacSwan