Bloomberg News

Hungary Must Improve Investor Image for IMF Aid, Varga Says

February 05, 2012

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Hungary must improve its investment environment and slow legislative changes to obtain an international bailout, Mihaly Varga, chief of staff to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, told Magyar Hirlap in an interview.

Hungary is seeking an aid package from the International Monetary Fund and European Union of about 15 billion ($20 billion) to 20 billion euros, Varga said.

The “outlines” of a deal may be done in one or two months as it is in the interest of both sides to come to an agreement quickly, Varga told the newspaper.

The IMF had several suggestions which the government “must take seriously,” including on the country’s investment environment, Varga said, adding that speed of changes initiated by the Cabinet had been difficult to follow for some investors.

“A calmer, more balanced” phase of legislation is ahead, he said.

Varga doesn’t expect the IMF to ask Hungary to scrap its flat tax system in exchange for a deal, he said.

--Editors: Linda Shen, Kristen Hallam

To contact the reporter on this story: Andras Gergely in Budapest at agergely@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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