HUNGARY'S PM WILL ABANDON CENTRAL BANK MERGER
Hungary will abandon a planned merger of the central bank and its financial markets regulator, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday, January 20 backing down on one of the key points of conflict with the EU that threatens to block a deal on aid.The move is the first concrete commitment since Mr Orban made a broad pledge to the European Parliament earlier this week to back down on laws that have prompted charges he was seeking to take control of the country's major independent institutions, The Telegraph reported.
The forint rose around 1pc and prices of Hungarian bonds surged on Wednesday and Thursday on hopes the government was ready to reach a compromise that would open the way to a deal with the IMF and European Union.
But analysts worried that Mr Orban, who has based his domestic political appeal on taking Hungary on an independent course that would not bow to pressure from external parties like the IMF, might still be unwilling to deliver in practice.
"The government's position must be formed at a government meeting, this happened yesterday," Mr Orban told Hungarian radio. "Naturally, several laws may have to be modified, but the government cannot do it, this can be done only by parliament, and we will make proposals to this end."
Mr Orban said he expected to strike a political agreement with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on disputed legislation at a meeting next week.
He said it would have been beneficial for Hungary to have had a safety agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union already "yesterday," even if the country had no plans to draw on any funding made available.
Mr Orban's Fidesz party has been criticised by the international community for introducing measures that threaten the independence of the media, the judiciary and the central bank since sweeping to power in 2010.
- 1780 The Armenian colony of New Nakhichevan (Rostov, Russia) is founded.
- 1921 Publication in Brussels of Abbot Matern Muret's memoirs. He witnessed the Genocide of the Marash Armenians by the Turks from January 20 to February 11, 1920 as a result of French perfidy. He called the killing of 20000 Armenians during that time enough to make any human insane.
- 1933 Opening of the Spendiaryan State Opera Building in Yerevan.
- 1989 The Supreme Soviet of the USSR establishes a special authority headed by Volsky in Artsakh. This authority is directly subject to the USSR Government rather than to Soviet Azerbaijan. In the summer, a National Council was formed which represented all strata of Artsakhs population.