Hungary faces EU deadline to change laws, unlock aid talks

February 13, 2012 03:24

BUDAPEST - EU maverick Hungary will offer to tweak most of the laws at the heart of a dispute with Brussels when it responds formally to demands for change this week in a bid to unlock talks on vital aid.

The government's proposals are unlikely to differ from what it has been saying publicly for the best part of a month, but they should represent an effort to compromise that will push forward the process of finding a deal.

Officials will probably refuse to modify legislation in two areas previously criticized by the European Union: a cap on central bankers' salaries and an oath which the bank's leaders must take under the country's new constitution.

The latter issue is widely regarded as being largely symbolic but how Brussels responds will decide whether talks can be launched on a multi-billion euro financing backstop which the eastern EU member state needs to avert a full-blown market crisis.

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