February 18, 2010, 10:18 CET
Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai said there is a chance that Hungary can adopt the euro in 2014 whatever the outcome of the April general election.
In an article in Thursday's Nepszabadsag daily, Bajnai said that Hungarian crisis management was now concentrating on the next decade rather than the upcoming elections.
If the country's government is wise and tough enough after the elections, Hungary will be in a position to join the single currency on January 1, 2014, he said.
Bajnai said that the euro could only help Hungary's long-term growth if it is coupled with rising employment and a sustainable economic growth rate of 4 percent -- two percentage points higher than the EU average.
Bajnai said that it would remain to be seen if the next government -- polls indicate it will be led by conservative party Fidesz -- would accept the inconvenience of responsibility. If they do, Hungary will finally be anchored in the West. If they prefer to generate illusions and make the public expect miracles, Hungary will stay between West and East, drifting from crisis to crisis, he said.
"It is shallow-minded if a political campaign limits itself to saying that a change in government will bring about miracles," he said.