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Hungarian premier says government did not face up to unsustainable policies

Hungarian premier says government did not face up to unsustainable policies

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany on Friday apologized for not confronting economic realities before April's general elections.
Speaking before a vote of confidence in Parliament, Gyurcsany said he and his government had not been brave enough to face up to unsustainable policies.
But Gyurcsany said he did not consciously mislead the country.
"I must reject accusations that the first Gyurcsany government falsified data, that it knowingly misled or deceived the people," he said.
Protests against the prime minister have been held since Sept. 17, when Gyurcsany was heard on a leaked recording admitting that the government lied about the economy to win April's general elections.
In a May speech to Socialist lawmakers, Gyurcsany said that his first government _ which became the first to win re-election in post-communist Hungary _ "lied throughout the last year-and-a-half, two years.
"It was totally clear that what we are saying is not true ... And at the same time, we did nothing for four years. Nothing," Gyurcsany said May 26 at the closed meeting. "I almost died when for a year and a half we had to pretend we were governing. Instead, we lied morning, evening and night. I don't want to do it anymore."
But on Friday the prime minister said the lies he had been referring to were those of the unsustainable policies implemented by Hungary since 2001, which led to a false sense of security and created illusions about the stability of the economy.
"Maybe we have to apologize because we allowed appearances to be maintained, what is more, we ourselves sustained the illusion that higher, larger incomes could be accomplished without better achievement," Gyurcsany said.
"I did not have the courage to tell the voters to their eyes that everything I did, everything we did, everything that many, many people did and believed in in Hungary for the past years, was based partly on self-deception, partly on lack of valor," he said.
In the last few months, Gyurcsany's government has started implementing austerity measures and some reforms aimed at lowering the state budget deficit, which at over 10 percent of gross domestic product is the largest in the European Union.
Opposition lawmakers have been calling for Gyurcsany's dismissal and the formation of a government of experts to find a solution to the country's economic crisis.
Gyurcsany _ whose coalition suffered large setbacks in Sunday's nationwide municipal elections _ requested Friday's vote of confidence to reinforce political support for his austerity package and the transformation of the country's inefficient public sector.
Gyurcsany's Socialists and their smaller associates, the Alliance of Free Democrats, have 210 seats in the 386-seat legislature, so the prime minister is expected to survive to vote.


Updated : 2021-04-13 22:58 GMT+08:00