Budapest (MTI) – The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) respects the ruling of the Constitutional Court and its foundations will disclose all data it is requested to make public, Deputy Governor Marton Nagy told public radio on Sunday.
The top court ruled on Thursday that amendments to the law governing the central bank that give the NBH the legal power to decline public information requests concerning companies that support its activities, or to classify such information with retroactive effect, are unconstitutional.
The court noted that the central bank offers a public service and the funds it manages are all public, therefore, under the constitution, it is obliged to keep its operations transparent and account for those funds to the public. The court also noted that the central bank can only set up foundations or companies that are connected to the bank’s primary function, therefore the funds donated to those organisations will not cease to be public funds.
Nagy said that the foundations were going to shift towards a more transparent operation regardless of the top court ruling. Separated from the central bank, they will be given every power to guarantee this transparency, he said.
The green opposition LMP called on the central bank to make data connected to its foundations and companies public and wind up those that are “specialised in scattering money”. Deputy group leader Erzsebet Schmuck said the central bank must restore lawful operation. In recent years, its operation involved purchasing overpriced property and collecting artworks, which goes against the constitution, she added. She also criticised the bank’s supervisory board “for not raising its voice when the bank wanted to hide data of public interest” and said the board should be disbanded.