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Hungarian report Hungarian report
by Euro Reporter
2009-05-07 09:13:03
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Bajnai package wins shallow support

"Ordinary people generally support the Bajnai package of crisis management measures until they are personally affected by them, a Medián poll commissioned by Népszabadság reveals. Practically all respondents, 90%, support the reduction of state leaders’ salaries, while 73% agree with cuts in income taxes and social insurance contributions.

Of the austerity measures, 46% support the abolition of 13th-month salaries in the public sector, but only 30% agree with the elimination of the 13th-month pension. The great majority do not find the other measures acceptable. Only 20% agree with the abolition of energy price subsidies and the planned raising of the retirement age from 2012, while 31% agree with the rise in VAT from 20% to 25%.

About half of respondents said the package will have a very bad impact on their own household, and 25% expect further adverse effects. Most expect the measures to harm the economy, the budget and the forint, but slightly more say these measures are necessary than say they are not. The vast majority of Socialist supporters say the changes are necessary, compared to only slightly more than 25% of Fidesz supporters.

The majority say a new government to be chosen through early elections should pass similar measures. Two-thirds of respondents favour early elections.


Haydn Year 2009 in Hungary

"In 2009, during the Haydn Year all (thirteen) of the Masses of Haydn will be played on Sundays in the Budapest Belvárosi Főplébániatemplom (Budapest City Centre Parish Church) during ceremonies they were originally intended for: Tridentine Holy masses. The fact that these pieces will be played in their original settings only during the Hungarian Haydn Year make the series of concerts even more special.

The series of concerts promises a unique spiritual and musical experience for audiences: prominent Hungarian and international musicians, choirs and orchestras play the Mass compositions of Haydn not as a concert, but as they were supposed to be played: during Tridentine Holy Masses, together with the Gregorian Proprium ordered for the specific Sundays.

Participating artists include the Orfeo Orchestra and the Purcell Choir, the Philharmonic Orchestras of Kassa, Debrecen and Győr, the Capella Savaria, the Kodály Choir of Debrecen, the Tomkins Choir and the Schola Cantorum Budapestiensis – just to mention a few. During Haydn Year 2009 some masses will be played in churches ad concert halls of countryside towns too, with the participation of the musician of the Budapest concert series.


Nat. Bank to control inflation targets single-handedly

"In order to ensure compatibility with the EC Treaty, the Government and the National Bank of Hungary will amend an agreement concluded on 25 August 2008, “On the inflation target and the economic policy conditions of low inflation".

The amended agreement focuses exclusively on the areas of future cooperation between the government and the NBH; specifically, the right to approve inflation targets and their validity will rest exclusively with the Monetary Council, as opposed to the current practice of a joint decision-making process.Carried out at the request of the European Central Bank, the amendment will have no impact on the conduct of monetary policy, the NBH release emphasized. In any case, the Monetary Council was quick to issue a statement declaring that the inflation target remains unchanged at 3%.

“Within the framework of inflation targeting, the Monetary Council of the National Bank of Hungary defines a quantitative inflation target consistent with price stability, and pursues a monetary policy aimed at meeting the set inflation target. The most important aspects of defining the inflation target are that (i) it must be sufficiently low to keep economic losses arising from inflation to a minimum, (ii) it must take into account potential statistical biases that may stem from the method of calculating the consumer price index, and (iii) it must reduce the risk of deflation to an adequate level. Accordingly, the Monetary Council has defined the inflation target at 3% as measured by the consumer price index published regularly by the Central Statistics Office."

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