Eight economists call on govt to join Euro Plus Pact

Budapest, March 25 (MTI) – Eight senior economists called on the Hungarian government to join the euro zone competitiveness pact, dubbed as Euro Plus Pact, in a statement published on Friday.

“As responsible Hungarian economists, we call on Viktor Orban’s government to revise its position and approve the majority position in the EU summit,” the petitioners, including former Socialist finance minister Laszlo Bekesi and liberal economy minister Istvan Csillag, said.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced earlier this week that Hungary would not be going to join the euro zone competitiveness pact for the moment because the country wanted to retain its independence on tax matters.

The economists argued that the pact envisages uniform rules merely for calculating the tax base but does not rule out competition between the degrees of tax rates, and does not prevent Hungary from attracting foreign investment with lower tax rates. By adopting the pact, Hungary “would not give up its independence in tax matters”, they said.

“After a lost decade, we should not voluntarily get off the train of progress that would take us to the Hungarian euro”, the petitioners said.

The pact forms part of the package designed to increase financial stability in the euro zone, make the EU more competitive and step up economic coordination. It was approved last night by 17 euro zone member states and six non-euro zone countries. Four EU members – Hungary, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Denmark – decided not the sign it.

source: mti.hu