The following are key comments from Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.

Hungary has turned away from the edge of the cliff. But now has to climb up the mountain. And this is a very difficult task... resulting in blood, sweat and tears.... And if we are not careful, we could roll back and fall off the... edge of the cliff, so we need to keep this difficult but worthwhile path which we started.

I think ... you can already see the next potential global crisis, which will be different in nature. And that will stand from the current huge indebtedness and deficits the major economies are taking on. My concern is that financing those deficits and to refinance those huge debts, will crowd out smaller economies and corporations to a large extent from credit markets.


I think given the fact of the recent volatility in the markets we need to hold our breath and wait and see at least a couple of months before seriously talking about this.

For the time being I think we need to prove our case, we need to serve the confidence that the markets have given back to us and we need to show a positive track record in the next couple of months before being able to talk about this.

If the budget is approved as it is today, if the forint remains as stable as it seems to be for the last two months, if there is a continuing convergence in yields and interest rates and if what I believe will be believed by the markets in general - that Hungary will be able to turn around next year its trend of indebtedness from a growing trend to a decreasing trend ...then I am sure that Hungary will be able to start discussions on the ERM 2 pretty soon, but you also need to get the agreement of our European partners in this respect and we also need the agreement of the national bank.


I am convinced that Hungary does need the euro introduction as soon as possible. The crisis has shown clearly that being part of the euro zone gives stability and also gives a larger degree of discipline to a country long term...

We need the euro as soon as possible but within that hopefully short timeframe Hungary also needs to improve its competitiveness ... so at the time when Hungary joins the euro the economy will be on a sustainable growth path and the introduction of the euro will not reduce Hungary's growth potential.


There is a reason to believe that if market conditions do not deteriorate significantly, then Hungary will be able to fund itself from the markets. But we do have the arrangements with the IMF and EU commission and we have decided to extend it until October next year so even after the elections there is a sort of buffer... for risk management by the next government.


Under current market conditions, Hungary could easily go back to the markets and raise more money if it's needed and that's a pleasant state to be, much more pleasant to where we were in the first half of this year.

Luckily life has also returned to the forint denominated debt market and we can also fund ourselves in forint. We also need to keep a healthy mix of currencies in our debt management. So we can return to the markets but we will only do so if we need to, there is no need to go out for PR reasons.


I think planning on minus 0.9 percent recession next year is conservative enough that Hungary will be able to hold onto the planned budget deficit of 3.8 percent next year.

There may be (an upside to growth potential next year) but it is primarily dependent on our external markets and I am still not sure how the European and the world economy will perform next year. I think it would not be prudent at this time, this stage to plan on a more optimistic scenario...


The Hungarian forint has been quite stable during the last two months and I would be happy to see the currency to remain as stable as it is today.

Once growth returns and it is kept on a sustainable path, jobs will come back. That's when I think we can call the crisis over, when employment starts to grow again in a sustainable way.


I've made it clear in the first speech that I had when I took this job, that I undertake this job for one year.