Socialists call for special parliament session to debate situation of FX borrowers
The opposition Socialist Party is calling for a special session of parliament to debate the situation of Hungarians who still hold loans borrowed in foreign currency.
László Szakács, the party’s deputy leader, told a news conference on Thursday that the party will ask ruling Fidesz to look to international examples of handling foreign currency loans and reconsider its position on the situation of troubled Hungarian forex loan holders.
Banks should be held accountable, all loan contracts should be reassessed and the loans should be converted into forints at the exchange rates of the time of taking out the loan, Szakács said. While the contracts are being reassessed, evictions and non-payment procedures should be suspended, he added.
Szakács noted a recent court ruling in Croatia declaring that forex loan holders must be given back the money they were “unfairly” forced to pay back to banks due to exchange rate changes or because they had not been properly informed about their loans. Courts in Slovenia and Romania have also issued similar rulings, he said.
Now it is up to Fidesz to decide whether it wants to side with families or “keep siding with the banks”, Szakács said.
Last year, the banks made 700 billion forints (EUR 2.16bn) off Hungarian families, he said, adding that forex borrowers were continuously being evicted and subjected to non-payment procedures.
Fidesz responded by accusing the Socialists of having pushed households into taking out foreign currency loans. “They should rather keep quiet and be ashamed of themselves,” the ruling party said in a statement.
It added that the post-2002 Socialist government had scrapped the Orbán government’s home-creation scheme, forcing people who wanted a home for their families to take out risky FX loans. Had it depended on the Socialists, then more than a million Hungarian families would have lost their homes. Neither would there have been home-improvement subsidies, the Fidesz statement said.