Govt's major challenge
One of the most important jobs facing the government is to find a solution to operating an effective financing system for small and medium-sized enterprises in a way that either replaces or partially replaces bank lending, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a commercial television station.
Speaking to news channel Hir TV from Brussels late on Sunday, Orban said the moment had come for European politicians to put their banks in order because the current situation was unfeasible. He added that it was "impossible" that three years after the big crisis of 2008 -- when European governments gave lots of money to the banks -- the banks were again "knocking on the door". He said that money had been put to improper use and taxpayers were again bailing them out. "This won't do," he said.
Orban said that compared to the rest of Europe, Hungary was going through a different process: here banks must pay a tax and foreign banks were now giving back to Hungary the money which they had previously taken out. In connection with the government's decision to allow full repayments of forex mortgages, he said foreign exchange obligations otherwise could not be met. He insisted that foreign banks in Hungary had been withdrawing money from the country for a long time, while in the past year they had not been granting loans to small and medium-sized companies. "One of the government's biggest challenges is to find a solution to operating an effective financing system for small and medium-sized enterprises in a way that either replaces or partially replaces bank lending," he said, adding that other European leaders had been saying the same thing on the margins of the EU summit.