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1 RFE/RL NEWSLINE - 21 November 1997 (mind)  32 sor     (cikkei)

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RFE/RL NEWSLINE 
Vol. 1, No. 165, 21 November 1997

HUNGARY'S ANTI-NATO OPPOSITION CHALLENGES REFERENDUM. The
far-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party on 19 November
announced that it will challenge the validity of the 16 November
NATO referendum in the Constitutional Court. It argued that a 1989
referendum law requiring turnout to exceed 50 percent is still in
force. The next day, the pacifist Alba Circle group asked the National
Election Commission (OVB) to declare the plebiscite illegal on the
same grounds. OVB Chairman Istvan Kukorelli said the commission is
aware that the referendum law remains in force until the end of
1997, but he said a constitutional amendment passed in July
superseded that legislation. Under that amendment, a referendum is
valid if at least 25 percent of the electorate voted either for or
against the issue put to the vote. MSZ

HUNGARY TO SLOW DOWN FORINT DEVALUATION. Finance Minister
Peter Medgyessy and National Bank President Gyorgy Suranyi
announced on 20 November that beginning January 1998, the
"crawling peg" devaluation of the forint will be reduced by 0.1
percent to 0.9 percent a month. Medgyessy noted that GDP growth is
more favorable than expected, reaching 4 percent by the end of
1997, and the deficit lower than the planned 4.9 percent of GDP. He
also said that Hungary's foreign debt was $10.5 billion at the end of
September. Medgyessy and Suranyi expect the 1997 inflation rate to
be reach some 18 percent. MSZ

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