Hungary aims to close IMF office, repay loan early

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary is considering paying back early a bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund and also wants to close the organization’s office in Budapest.

National Bank of Hungary President Gyorgy Matolcsy said Monday in a letter addressed to IMF chief Christine Lagarde that while they “appreciate the valuable support” the Washington-based group gave the country, the stand-by credit program “is almost complete.” As such, it was no longer necessary for the IMF to keep an office in Hungary.

In 2008, during a Socialist-led government, Hungary received a rescue credit line of 20 billion euros ($25 billion at the time) from the IMF and other creditors. But Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government chose not to renew the deal in 2010 to avoid closer IMF scrutiny of its economic policies.

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