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Hungary Nearing Financing Pact With IMF, Orban Tells MR1 Radio

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Hungary wants to reach a financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union and is close to a deal, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state-run MR1 radio.

Orban, speaking in an interview on the channel today, also reiterated that Hungary is seeking a “safety net” rather than a loan from the international lenders as the country “can certainly stand on its feet without an IMF loan.”

“The reason I propose that Hungary should keep negotiating with the IMF is because hard times are coming in Europe, much harder than many people think,” Orban said. “Hungary isn’t just negotiating with the IMF, but with a joint IMF/EU delegation. In recent months we’ve not been negotiating with the IMF part but with the EU part, and we’ve made much progress.”

Hungary requested aid a year ago as its credit rating was cut to junk. Talks for a loan of about 15 billion euros ($19 billion) were delayed multiple times because of the Cabinet’s resistance to legal and economic conditions set by the IMF and the EU. The IMF has no date set to continue aid talks with Hungary, Gerry Rice, a spokesman for the Washington-based lender, said Nov. 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Agnes Lovasz in London at alovasz@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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