Mihály Varga, Minister without portfolio in charge of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU, who swore his oath of office on Monday in Parliament, has asked the Fidesz parliamentary group to consider postponing the final vote on amendments to the Act on the National Bank of Hungary (MNB). According to the original timetable, Monday would have seen the final vote on the Act, following amendments requested by the international organisations.
Mr. Varga said that the request for postponement was because the current amendments had not put an end to all discussion on the issue, and so time must be allowed for clarification talks.
Fidesz parliamentary group leader Antal Rogán said on Monday that he is sure Parliament will pass the amended Act before the middle of July, and in the meantime the Government will have the opportunity to discuss any possible further amendments with the IMF.
Mr. Rogán said that five-way talks on the Act are being conducted between the Government, the MNB, the European Central Bank, the IMF and the European Commission. All points of community law have been agreed, with two exceptions: the oath to be sworn by the Governor of the MNB and his salary. The Commission does not see these as obstacles to further progress, however, and the most that may happen is that the parties would turn to the European Court for a ruling; but this, he said, would be a routine procedure. He also said, however, that reaching an agreement in talks between five parties is far more difficult than between two parties, as the international organisations do not always agree with each other.
On Monday Parliament voted on the amendment to the Fundamental Law which eliminates the possibility of the MNB being merged with the Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority. This amendment was also requested by the European Commission.