Hungary’s new Prime Minister has wasted no time in getting down to business, and has already named his cabinet.
Gordon Bajnai, who was formally voted in as the country’s leader by parliament earlier in the afternoon, has appointed independent experts to key posts A political independent who has the support of Hungary’s main political parties, Bajnai takes over from the deeply unpopular Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, who quit a year before the general election after failing to raise enough support for his economic reforms. Bajnai says he has no plans to stand for next year’s poll. His appointment is not likely to please the tens of thousands of protestors who gathered in the centre of Budapest earlier this month demanding fresh elections instead of a new Prime Minister. His policies are also likely to be unpopular in the short term. Bajnai has pledged immediate and painful spending cuts including a salary freeze for public officials, to tackle the country’s worst recession in two decades. The economy is expected to shrink by six percent this year after being kept afloat by a 20 billion euro IMF bailout.