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EU Urges Hungary to Take Concrete Steps on Central-Bank Autonomy

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Hungary must take “concrete steps” to ensure the independence of its central bank, European Commission economics spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told reporters in Brussels today.

European Union Economic and Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn and Tamas Fellegi, Hungary’s chief negotiatior for a financial bailout, met today in Brussels amid a dispute over the independence of Hungary’s central bank that has halted aid talks for the country.

Rehn “welcomed that the Hungarian government is now ready to engage in a dialogue and modify relevant legislation” and “is now looking forward to seeing these assurances translated into concrete acts and results,” Altafaj said. “Concrete actions mean for instance that draft laws are also consulted” with the European Central Bank, the commission and the International Monetary Fund, he said.

“Pre-conditions” must be met for talks on financial assistance to Hungary, he said. No specific date has been discussed for the talks, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Clapham in Brussels at aclapham@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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