It has long been a question whether Hungary will ever use the euro instead of the forint. The question divides Hungarians. According to a recent survey, most Hungarians would adopt the euro, and most experts are also pro-euro. However, the Hungarian government regularly argues that the introduction of the euro would adversely affect Hungary and result in an economic downturn.
According to a Eurobarometer survey, 69 per cent of Hungarians would like to switch to the euro, 26 per cent would not like to adopt it, and the remaining 5 per cent were uncertain about the issue. The popularity of the euro has increased compared to previous years. This may be related to the coronavirus epidemic. Ákos Péter Bod, a professor at Corvinus University, believes that the euro has not become more popular, but the weakening of the forint is pushing people towards the euro. He added that the euro is popular in countries with high inflation, such as Romania and Hungary.
During the coronavirus epidemic, one euro became 30-50 forints more expensive.
In 2019, it was possible to buy one euro for 310-330 forints, while during the epidemic, one euro costs 360 forints, but for a short time, the exchange rate was above 370. “A weaker forint causes higher inflation and a relative loss of wealth for the majority of Hungarians,” Zoltán Török, chief economist at Raiffeisen Bank, tells portfolio.hu.
Central bank governor György Matolcsy believes that the changeover to the euro should not be done in the interest of Hungary’s economic development. Dr László Csaba, an economist and professor at CEU, believes that the benefits of adopting the euro can be seen in Slovakia. Slovakia used to be one of the poorest countries but is now a leader in the region. László Csaba, who had previously helped Viktor Orbán with advice, refuted Matolcsy’s claims step by step.
The euro area is a serious safety net in the event of a crisis.
It is not worth it for a small country to maintain its own currency. László Csaba told 24.hu that it is completely feasible that there will be euro in Bulgaria or Romania sooner than in Hungary. According to the current position of the Hungarian government, the introduction of the euro is not expected in this decade. The government believes that its own currency is a source of independence and economic advantage, even though most experts see the situation differently.