The opposition Socialist-Párbeszéd party alliance called on the government to pull out from an agreement signed with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the financing of loans taken out in foreign currencies, saying that it did not serve Hungarian people’s interests.
Signed in 2015, the agreement guaranteed that FX loans, which suffered greatly after the forint plummeted during the 2008 economic crisis, could be converted to forint-based loans “without any cost on the banks’ part” and that the Hungarian government would not stand in the way of evictions, László Szakács, the deputy head of the Socialist party, said. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “sold FX loan borrowers to the banks for money,” Szakács said, noting that on Thursday Orbán pledged Hungary would keep the agreement. The parties will submit the proposal to parliament, so “Fidesz can also vote on it”, he said.
In another proposal, Socialists-Párbeszéd will state that the banks have misled prospective borrowers, a claim loan holders currently have to prove individually in court, he said. Párbeszéd board member Beáta Hegyesi said Orbán’s “unfair laws” turned demographic groups against each other, and called for widespread unity “because strength is the only thing this regime understands”.
Commenting on the initiative, ruling Fidesz said in a statement that the first Fidesz government’s home subsidy scheme was scrapped under the subsequent Socialist governments. Those “bringing up forex loans are the ones who led the public amass FX debts,” it said. These parties never supported proposals to make banks accountable, to convert FX loans to forint-based ones or to launch home subsidy schemes, Fidesz said.