György Matolcsy |

Hungarian priorities to strengthen EU

January 24, 2011

All economic priorities of the Hungarian presidency serve to strengthen the position of the European Union, Hungarian Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy said at a EP committee hearing in Brussels on Monday.


Presenting Hungary's program for the EU Presidency to the economic and financial committee of the European Parliament, Matolcsy spoke about his country's commitment for a strong EU, which he said required a strong euro zone as well.

The European Parliament supports all Hungary's priorities, Matolcsy told reporters following the session.

Among the priorities, Matolcsy mentioned promoting a new type of coordination designed to strengthen economic governance, introducing a permanent stability mechanism, as well as passing legislation to regulate financial services and the financial markets.

"We must proceed quickly and professionally," Matolcsy said.

Matolcsy added that public finance in EU members should be reinforced in the short term through reducing the deficit below 3 percent of GDP as well as reducing the internal debt, which has now reached 80 percent on average.

Responding to questions about Hungary's banking levy, Matolcsy said that it was an instrument applied by ten EU members in various form. Hungary introduced it "to settle the heritage of the past," he added. He said that in terms of the banking levy, Hungary did not discriminate between national and foreign banks.

Hungary suggests that the EU should work out a harmonised system, allowing national governments to introduce the banking tax for increasing central revenues "if the budget is in trouble".



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