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We won't 'give in to the IMF,' say Hungarian government ads

The Hungarian government has attacked the IMF with a defiant newspaper advertising campaign.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Image: Virginia Mayo/AP/Press Association Images

THE HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT has published advertisements on the back pages of a number of national newspapers in defiance of the International Monetary Fund.

“We will not give in to the IMF!”, “We will not give up Hungary’s independence,” and “What do we want from the IMF? Respect, trust!” said the full-page advertisements printed on Tuesday under the heading of “government information”.

The media campaign is costing the Hungarian government around €705,000, which will continue until 8 November, even though Hungary is now one of Europe’s most indebted nations and currently trying to agree a multi-billion euro loan with the IMF and the European Union to rein in borrowing costs and rebuild market confidence hurt by years of unorthodox policies.

Hungary’s government explains the reason behind the advertisements: “Many press reports containing false information about the IMF/EU demands have been published.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves her office to welcome Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for talks in Berlin today.

“It is the Hungarian government’s duty to inform the wider society about the IMF/EU negotiations and the actual facts,” it added.

Hungary sought financial assistance from the the IMF and the European Union last year, after the forint fell sharply and the government’s borrowing costs on financial markets soared.”

But negotiations have stalled and over the past year, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has gone back and forth over whether recession-hit Hungary needs an IMF-EU deal or not.

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Mr Orban is meeting with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin today to discuss European Union and trade issues as Germany is Hungary’s biggest trading partner.

Additional reporting © AFP, 2012

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