Jobbik slams Orbán cabinet, central bank for ‘inaction’ over weak forint
Jobbik on Tuesday slammed the government and the central bank for “failing to act” over the recent weakening of the forint to historic lows, saying that a weak currency would “hurt the interests of all Hungarians” in the long run.
The National Bank of Hungary is “at least as much to blame for the not too positive state” of the Hungarian economy as the government, Jobbik deputy leader Dániel Z Kárpát told a news conference, arguing that the government was trying to shift responsibility for the economy to the NBH.
He said markets had priced in the weakening of the Hungarian currency given the lack of action by the government or the central bank.
“The brutal level of the Hungarian economy’s external vulnerability poses further risks,” Z Kárpát said.
He said government spokesman Zoltan Kovács’s recent suggestion that the weakening of the forint could be the result of speculation had given the impression of a “timid and weak” government that was incapable of intervening in the situation.
Z Kárpát also said his party did not understand why the NBH was reluctant to step in to stem the forint’s decline either through communication, by fine-tuning the interest rate corridor or by raising interest rates. He underlined, at the same time, that
Jobbik would not support a rate hike under all circumstances, given that it would be against the interests of troubled loan holders.
The politician also touched on his party’s amendment proposal that would oblige the NBH to pay its profits into the state budget so that it could be spent on resolving the situation of troubled forex loan holders.
Ruling Fidesz said in reaction that Jobbik and the Socialist Party had voted against converting FX loans into Hungarian currency. “If it had been up to Jobbik and other opposition parties”, one million families would still be vulnerable to currency speculations, from which government measures shield them, the statement said.