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The council of EU Finance Ministers made a decision late Sunday night, which could be extremely important for Hungary. The ministers voted to loosen certain requirements of the stability and growth pact of EU member states. The council accepted a Hungarian proposal to modify the minimum permitted level of budget deficit.

In recent months analysts have been involved in a Europe-wide debate whether strict rules guarding financial stability and the value of the euro can be loosened without creating any damaging economic processes. The modifications were urged by necessity, as some new and old member states faced equal challenges in meeting strict criteria.

It can be considered a Hungarian success that a Hungarian proposal was approved requesting waiver for member states executing pension reforms from meeting budget deficit requirements for five years. Joaquín Almunia, the European Council member responsible for fiscal policy, said that countries introducing such large-scale reforms will be given a five-year grace period to overcome financial impacts of the reforms and reduce public sector deficit to the level required by the EU.

Countries that are already members of the euro zone will also receive waivers from currently applied sanctions if they have to solve serious economic problems. In return, such countries will be obliged to make increased efforts to cut deficits when their economies perform well.

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