Central Europe is one of the EU’s fastest-growing regions

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Economic growth in Central and Eastern Europe continues to significantly outpace the EU’s average and it is poised to remain the growth engine of the entire Union, Varga said at a recent meeting of EU finance minister in Brussels, Magyar Hírlap reports.

He said that according to the latest data, economic growth in Hungary was 4.8 percent. He warned, however, that the overall economic performance of the 28 member states in the first half of the year was slightly below expectations and could fall further unless trade disputes with the United States are solved. Uncertainties regarding Brexit and growing crude prices also represent risks.

Among the several topics on the table at the Luxemburg meeting was the issue of measures against money-laundering. Varga said Hungary supports closer cooperation between national authorities but was apprehensive about giving further powers to the European Banking Authority (EBA). He said Hungary would not support proposals giving the EBA powers to make decisions involving a member state’s banks above the head of the national authorities.

Regarding the VAT reverse charge mechanism, which moves the responsibility for the reporting of a VAT transaction from the seller to the buyer of goods or services. Varga said that while Hungary will support the proposal, better targeted measures are also necessary, such as the online reporting system of retail transactions and electronic tracking of goods transports recently introduced by Hungary.

He also said the finance ministers agreed on the reduction of VAT on e-books.

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