Bloodied by Brussels, Hungary courts IMF for aid

By REUTERS
January 12, 2012 04:40

BUDAPEST - Hungary must convince the International Monetary Fund on Thursday it is willing to change its ways in return for aid to remain solvent, a day after the European Union flagged the threat of legal action over hard-line reforms.

For Prime Minister Viktor Orban, widely criticized for pushing through restrictive new laws on public finances and the central bank while treating the country's would-be lenders with defiance, going back to the IMF cap in hand represents a severe political climbdown.

Tamas Fellegi, minister in charge of talks with the IMF and the EU - which led a 20 billion rescue of Hungary in 2008 - meets IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Washington on Thursday with a mandate to accept a stricter funding deal than Budapest initially wanted.


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