Hungarians want the Euro!


jegyzetcover5Remember what Viktor Orbán said as an opposition leader some years ago? “A weaker forint means a weaker state, and only weak people can possibly want a weak forint.” Moreover, he also stated that the deliberate devaluation of the forint exchange rate is a simple theft, because with it “they steal money out of people’s pockets” by devaluing their salaries.
Well, when Fidesz took power in 2010, the euro exchange rate was just over 280 forints. Today – when we are said to be the engine of all development and growth – the exchange rate is at historic peaks; you have to pay around 350 for a single euro. Due to the deliberate weakening of the forint, inflation is also huge; all our imports have become more expensive, so everyone has to pay more at the cashiers. Recalling Orbán’s sentences at the time: the current power steals from us all when it takes a significant amount out of our pockets by devaluing the forint.
Fidesz tends to refer to two things regularly and willingly: the situation and practice of the countries of the Central and Eastern European region, and the opinion of the Hungarian people – that they have asked for, one way or another. Well, if we look at our region, we are starting to lag far behind our leading role: after the Slovaks and Slovenes, now Bulgaria and Croatia have also announced that they will join ERM II, considered the gateway to the euro, and introduce the single currency in 2023.
And as far as people’s opinions are concerned, which Orbán and his gang claim to follow as a kind of compass, also defines a clear path. At the request of the left-wing daily Népszava, Publicus Institute was the east to conduct a representative survey in the matter, according to which more than 51 per cent of the population wants a Hungarian euro and only 37 per cent reject it, the rest are uncertain or have no opinion on the matter. Unsurprisingly, the rejectors are mainly pro-government voters who support Fidesz’s anti-European and anti-EU policies blindly, without question.

Joining the euro is one of the commitments made in the EU treaties, and it is our duty to fulfil it. It may be up for debate whether the Hungarian economy is ready for the first steps (for example, forint inflation is still far from expected) and when it is best to join, but the intention must be clear. Or it should be. Yet the Hungarian government does not even request observer status at the negotiating table of the eurozone countries, although this does not oblige them to do anything, it is just an important source of information and opportunities. It is infinitely sad that the Hungarian government also treats the issue of the common currency arrogantly, condescendingly and merely in light of the personal profitmaking  needs of the ruling party’s circles.
Fidesz experts should undertake a substantive debate on this and make it clear to the Hungarian people what the state power thinks about this and why. And the government is at least expected to set a timetable as soon as possible, setting at least a target date for the introduction of the euro. In the absence of this, they only prove that our economy is not on such stable foundations as the domestic propaganda claims, and that they constantly gamble with the forint at the expense of the Hungarian people.

dr. István Ujhelyi
Member of the European Parliament
9 August, 2020

Ujhelyi: What were Lukashenko and Orbán really discussing?


deal“Enough of this Russian roulette, we want to know what Fidesz’s shady game with the Belarusian regime is about,” said István Ujhelyi at his online press conference on Sunday.
The MSZP MEP called on the government to reveal the contents of the minutes and memos of the June talks between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President Alexander Lukashenko.
He added that if these documents could not be shared with the general public due to their content concerning national security, they should report the details to the National Security Committee of Parliament. Ujhelyi claimed, if Fidesz has nothing to hide regarding the matter, they should clarify exactly what the Hungarian and Belarusian leaders were discussing.
A European politician of MSZP recalled that more than 7,000 people, including seventy journalists, had been detained in recent days in connection with the protests following the falsified elections.  Ujhelyi pointed out that the institutions of the European Union clearly and unequivocally condemn state fraud and terror in Belarus, but according to information, among Member States only the Hungarian government is still reluctant to do so.
“Obviously Moscow dictates, but we should make it clear where we stand, whose interests we are serving,” said Ujhelyi at the press conference. According to the Socialist MEP, it is still unclear what deals had been made at the Orbán-Lukashenko meeting in June, as the specific agreements announced following the talks were effectively weightless.
“Obviously, during his visit in June, Orbán did not meet with opposition leaders, as there is only shamocracy in Belarus; but perhaps this is exactly what the Hungarian head of government went to examine more closely, ”said the European politician of MSZP, adding that the shady game of the Orbán government with the Belarusian regime brought shame on Hungary again, so it is a minimum expectation to see clearly in the matter.

Budapest – 16/08/2020