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Standard & Poor’s upgrades Hungary

February 19th, 2019

A pro-government commentator interprets Hungary’s upgrade as acknowledgement of the government’s good performance. His left-wing counterpart downplays the importance of the credit rating.

On Friday, Standard & Poor’s Global Rating Agency upgraded the Hungarian sovereign rating to BBB with a ’stable’ outlook.

Magyar Nemzet’s Gergely Kiss contends that S&P’s decision has been due for a long time. The pro-government columnist hopes that other credit rating companies will soon follow suit, and Hungary will have access to even cheaper loans. Kiss underscores that in its report, S&P sees Hungarian growth as firm, and the country’s economy as crisis resilient. By this, the credit rating company has acknowledged that the government is doing a good job, Kiss writes. In a passing comment, Kiss adds that external shocks like Brexit or a trade war between China and the US may compel the Hungarian government to introduce another wave of policies to sustain fast growth.

In Népszava, Miklós Bonta downplays the importance of S&P’s upgrade. The left-wing commentator explains the credit rating company’s decision by suggesting that S&P has realized that the EU is unlikely to punish Hungary by cutting funding in retaliation for what Bonta sees as widespread corruption or ‘the daily violation of the rule of law’. Bonta adds that Hungary has never defaulted on its public debt, and thus credit rating companies do not matter much after all.

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