Amid all the speculation on sovereign debt that came up last week, isn’t it interesting which country isn’t on the endangered species list? Greece, Spain, Portugal…but not Hungary. It’s clear that if the country hadn’t taken some serious measures last year and shown a commitment to sticking to them, it would have been in the same mess. It didn’t hurt the cause, according to Gyorgy Folk at waz.eurobserver.com that the prime minister, Gordon Bajnai, announced he’d do his job for a symbolic HUF 1 per year.
He started off by making a similarly important gesture: Lowering the salaries of the top managers in state-owned companies…In its crisis-solving agenda, the minority government reckoned with a 7.5 percent GDP loss in 2009-2010, leading to its decision to cut expenditure once again by 1000 billion forints (€3.7 billion).
Following the decisions of his predecessor Ferenc Gyurcsany, Mr Bajnai prolonged the cap on public wages for 2010, stopped 13th month pensions and cut social welfare for families. He raised the pension age 65 and limited the parental allowance payment period from three to two years.
The author figures Hungary’s is still only half-way there. But maybe the Greek government should be taking notes.