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Hungary's Defiance of IMF and EU Authorities

Guardians of austerity in Europe in disarray

The government of Hungary has taken on a lot of powerful interests in the last couple of months, and so far appears to be winning – despite provoking outrage from “everybody who’s anybody.” “The IMF should hold the line,” shouted the Financial Times in an editorial the day after Hungary sent the IMF packing in July. “With so many countries in vulnerable positions, it cannot be seen to be a soft touch. Showing a few yellow and red cards is a good way to send a signal to other governments that might be tempted to flirt with indiscipline.” A comment by Mark Weisbrot

 

This is the great fear among the defenders of European “pro-cyclical” policies – that is, policies that weaken the economy during a recession or when it is barely growing. Hungary’s defiance could conceivably spread to other governments currently being squeezed by the IMF and European authorities ...


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