As Parliament passes the law on foreign currency loans and PM Orbán announces a new era of ’fair banks’, the leading left-wing daily calls for an era of fair politics. A conservative columnist on the other hand, welcomes the idea of a more regulated financial system that would be more in line with national interests.
On Friday, Parliament voted into law the new regulations on FX loans (see BudaPost July 2). PM Orbán said that the government is determined to eliminate all foreign currency loans after re-regulating the rules of credit transactions on the basis of the guidelines issued by the Kúria. He said that he hoped that after the reforms, “fair banks” will replace unfair ones, and Hungarians will not be left unprotected at the mercy of powerful financial institutions.
Orbán may call for fair banks, but he does not follow fair play in politics, Népszabadság writes in a front page editorial. The leading left-wing daily believes that the government’s record has been marred by the unscrupulous use of power. It accuses the government of channelling public funds towards its own hinterland and systematically trying to silence critical voices. As for the new law on foreign currency loans, Népszabadság suggests that the government should have enacted a law which takes into fair consideration the interests of all parties rather than expecting banks alone to swallow all the losses on FX loans.
In Magyar Nemzet, Gergely Kiss welcomes the government’s decision to swiftly intervene after the Kúria’s decision on unfair banking practices. The conservative columnist contends that the decision to re-regulate the credit system is in line with the government’s efforts to put the ‘national interest’ above that of profit oriented investors. “The pseudo-Left” which opposes the idea of imposing all costs on banks is concerned more about the interests of “foreign powers and multinational companies” than that of indebted Hungarian families, Kiss contends. He believes that when the loopholes that allowed banks to dictate unfair but highly profitable terms are closed, some foreign banks will close their Hungarian branches, which, Kiss speculates, may lead to a fairer banking system. In an aside, he notes that this process hurts the interests of powerful investors, and thus it is not by accident that on Friday the European Commission announced that it might soon restart the deficit procedure against Hungary.