Budapest (MTI) – The government has “pillaged” the country by subsidising ruling party Fidesz cronies and multinationals, a Jobbik official said, offering his party’s assessment of the past year.

Contracts offering big gains from central and local government coffers have been secured for people politically close to the government, Janos Volner, deputy leader of radical nationalist Jobbik’s parliamentary group, told a news conference on Monday. As a result, there are few Hungarian companies which can compete internationally or follow the rules of a market economy.

Despite its “nation-friendly rhetoric” the government is still boosting the economy and jobs with foreign capital, Volner said. He called it “bizarre” that while 33.5 percent of Hungarians live in poverty the taxpayer is subsidising the manufacture of German luxury goods.

Jobbik finds the central bank’s lending and growth programme misleading, as only 18 billion forints (EUR 57.35m) out of a budget of 701 billion forints have been awarded to businesses with fewer than ten employees despite its having been plugged as geared towards small business, he added.

Volner said government reports of improvements in employment and the public debt were unrealistic. According to official statistics, the employment rate among 20-64 year-olds grew from 60.4 percent in spring 2010 to only 60.6 percent this autumn. Meanwhile, the public debt rose from 82.1 percent of GDP in 2010 to 83 percent, which means some 3,000 billion forints worth of private pension savings have disappeared, Volner said, referring to the effective nationalisation of private pension savings in 2010.

He added that the government had not resolved the problems of people who borrowed in foreign currency as the forint conversion of loans at market rates was more beneficial to banks. There are still 150,000 families with repayments more than 90 days overdue — a sign that the problem is still lingering, he said.



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