Hungary made an official request for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union yesterday – just 18 months after the government in Budapest declared that it did not need any external help.
Hungary accepted a €20bn IMF/EU bailout in 2008, but that agreement was cancelled by the centre-right Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, in July 2010. Mr Orban said at the time that Hungary would pursue "economic self rule".
The country's economy has been battered by the eurozone crisis. Hungary is forecast to have the lowest growth in 2012 among the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004.