Unable to Fix Economy, Hungary's PM Steps Down

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2009 10:32 AM CDT
Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Hungary’s Socialist prime minister will step down so that a leader more adept at managing the country’s dire economic straits can take over, Reuters reports. “I hear that I am the obstacle to the cooperation required for changes,” Ferenc Gyurcsany told a meeting of his party. “I am eliminating this obstacle now.” Gyurcsany hopes to ensure a “constructive vote of no confidence,” which would name his successor before he leaves.

“Crisis management and further changes require wider political and social backing than today,” Gyurcsany said. Hungary has been hit hard by the economic crisis, and it had to take $25.1 billion from the IMF last year. The economy is expected to contract by 4.5% or more. The current minority government would be replaced by a majority that could pass needed economic legislation more easily.