Hungary's talks with EU, IMF to resume in September: official

13:26, July 20, 2010      

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The International Monetary Fund and the European Union will resume financial talks with Hungary in September after discussions stalled over the weekend, the economic minister said Monday.

Hungary has to meet targets to reduce debt for a 25 billion U.S. dollar loan from the EU and the IMF and the World Bank that it received in 2008.

In a statement to CNBC television, National Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy denied weekend talks had failed, saying just one phase of the discussions has concluded.

The IMF delegation returned to Washington on Saturday and issued a statement saying "open questions" still need to be reconciled.

Matolcsy acknowledged that the EU and IMF delegations "did not like" a special tax Hungary plans to levy on banks, which they consider too high.

The minister said the government doesn't want to continue the recent years of belt-tightening policies and has to keep to its deficit target of 3.8 percent of gross domestic product.

Because of that, he said, Hungary has to take the bank tax an alternative to a new set of general austerity measures.

The government won the April elections in a landslide, promising to ease up on fiscal constraints.

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