At the start of the weekStandard & Poor's placed Hungary’s sovereign debt on “negative watch”. The decision provoked an immediate reaction from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who declared that “Hungary doesn’t need any loan agreement with the IMF. If the IMF comes back to this country, I’m leaving,” reports Hirszerzö. “But where do we stand?” asks the news site. Because the currency is in free-fall: on November 17, one euro traded against 316 forint; back in March 2009, when it was at 317, Hungary requested assistance from the IMF. With public debt at 76 percent of GDP, “the IMF’s economists and bankers believe a future compromise is inevitable.” Thing are hard for the country, concedes Hírszerző. But the site does not want Hungarians, “for the love of economic freedom”, to pay the price of “a failed nationalism”. Better to “scale back growth forecasts, and if the arrival of the IMF means the departure of Prime Minister, then Godspeed!”
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