As the war between Russia and Ukraine goes on, the Hungarian currency starts the new week where it left off last Friday: hitting new historic low against all major currencies.Continue reading
As we have previously reported, the forint reached and then crossed the 400 euro mark. The Hungarian opposition reacted immediately to the collapse, criticizing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
The Párbeszéd Magyarországért “thanked” Viktor Orbán for the historic low of the forint. They wrote on Facebook, “We have lived to see this too. Thanks, Viktor! Thanks, Fidesz!” The picture they posted refers to Fidesz’s campaign slogan and it says “The euro goes forwards, not backward…Orbán, you equal bankruptcy!”
The opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister, Péter Márki-Zay, wrote:
The collapse of the forint is proof of the misguided economic policies of the Orbán government. The stability and value of Hungarian money now depend on the change of government.
Even before Putin’s war, Hungary had the highest inflation in Europe, and public debt was at its peak, with the central bank spending public money on enriching the central bank governor’s family instead of controlling inflation.”
According to Márki-Zay, “A radical cut in VAT on food is needed immediately. Immediate action must be taken to start the process of introducing the euro to ensure the stability of the Hungarian currency. And we need to bring home the HUF 15,000 billion in EU aid that Viktor Orbán’s Putin-style corruption has meant that he will no longer receive. So a change of government on April 3 is a prerequisite for our financial security, for the recovery of the economy and of the forint.”
The Democratic Coalition (DK) has called on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the governor of the National Bank of Hungary, György Matolcsy, “to do their job and protect the forint.” While the leftist-liberal opposition party acknowledges that the Russian-Ukrainian war has had a serious impact on all currencies in Central Europe, they point out that the Polish zloty and the Czech koruna have managed to hold their ground with both currencies strengthening against the forint. DK stresses that only the Russian ruble has shown a more dramatic decline in recent days than the forint. According to the Democratic Coalition, the forint must be saved so that the Hungarian economy and the livelihoods of the Hungarian people be saved.
Bertalan Tóth, co-chairman of the Socialist Party (MSZP), called the weakening of the forint shocking, noting that twelve years ago, 265 forints was a euro, two weeks ago 360, and today it is 400. He wrote:
The weak forint is clearly the responsibility of Fidesz, as the Orbán government is doing nothing to counter the weak exchange rate!
But they know what this means: Orbán himself said back in 2004 that by weakening the forint, they were actually ‘stealing money from people’s pockets,’ as people living on wages, salaries, and other contributions would be able to buy fewer goods in shops if the forint weakened, and pensioners’ benefits would be worth less: ‘A weaker forint is clearly against the interests of the people, a weaker forint means a weaker state, and only weak people want a weak forint,'” Tóth cited Orbán.
Featured image: illustration via Pixabay