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National Bank President still under fire

April 29th, 2016

As the debate over the management of the funds of the National Bank (MNB) rolls on, passionate articles abound both in condemnation and in defence of its President.

In a front page editorial, Népszabadság flatly accuses MNB President György Matolcsy of ‘corruption, malfeasance and money laundering’, characterising relations between MNB’s foundations, Mr Matolcsy’s cousin, Tamás Szemerey and the news site VS.hu as ‘ever murkier’. (For the background see BudaPost, April 26 and 28.) In its lead story Népszabadság describes Mr Szemerey and his bank as being the beneficiaries of MNB money transfers and of being behind the nominal owners of VS.hu.

In Magyar Hírlap, Zsolt Bayer calls Matocsy’s detractors ’low-down scoundrels’. Bayer praises Mr Matocsy for bringing down inflation to close to zero and reducing the prime interest rate to just over one per cent. He also mentions that 80 per cent of MNB’s free resources are invested in government bonds. He gives credit to official statements denying that Mr Szemerey is the actual owner of VS.hu and points out that VS is a strictly government-critical news site, anyway. Bayer therefore concludes that attacks on Mr Matolcsy are politically motivated.

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