Hungary back on the tightrope

It’s the kind of news that must make capital markets folks bang their head on a wall, but the Reuters headlin can’t be ignored: “Hungarian government denies IMF talks have broken down.”

If anyone’s gotten the wrong idea, it might have something to do with what Hungary’s chief aid negotiator Mihály Varga was quoted as saying: “We are once again in the clutch of foreign forces; once again a remote interest is bringing trouble on our heads.” The context of the statement is telling, as Varga reportedly said this on October 23, the day Hungarians commemorate the 1956 Hungarian uprising against the Soviet Union. He said that while “the boots of foreign soldiers are not trampling on our soil, our country is still in shackles.”

It’s all very well claiming this is just for public consumption, except it sounds awfully like the public is being prepared for some looming battle.




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