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Hungarian president warns of uncertain times ahead
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Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom said during his New Year speech Thursday that 2009 is likely to be a year of uncertainty because the global financial crisis has hit the country hard.

"An uncertain and critical year lies before us, and I am very sorry I cannot give you a traditional New Year's address," Solyom said during a televised national speech.

"Defining the way out and urgently introducing the necessary fundamental changes is the responsibility of the government," the president said.

Solyom urged Hungarians to act responsibly during the economic hard times in order to ride out the crisis.

"We are charged with evolving the strategy that will keep us and our families afloat. And this is not going to happen the old way," Solyom said.

"Not only because of the old economic policy, but the country has no reserves either, for residents have no savings, we spent too much money. Paying off the loan will be heavier burden for the people."

Hungarian financial markets have come under severe stress in recent months as the current financial crisis, the worst since the 1930s, deepened and broadened.

(Xinhua News Agency January 2, 2009)

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