15 Hungarian economists criticize governmentʼs economic response to crisis


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A group of Hungarian economists have published a statement critical of the governmentʼs economic response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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The 15 financial experts claim that “the economic measures proposed by the Hungarian government are insufficient to address the economic crisis and do not even attempt to address emerging social issues.”

They add that the only way the emergency can be managed successfully is if there is trust between the authorities and citizens, a sense of solidarity and the feeling that the sacrifices being made are necessary.

In the announcement, the economists pointed out their concerns, such as undefined goals, the failure to provide additional resources, the lack of the solutions for those losing their jobs and overall what they say is a lack of a proper realization of the crises’ severity.

The economists proposed a number of their own solutions concerning security of wages, the extension of unemployment insurance, financial support to local governments and non-governmental organizations carrying out crucial work.

The economists include Péter Ákos Bod, who served as  Minister of Industry and Trade in the cabinet of József Antall from 1990 to 1991, in Hungaryʼs first democratically elected government after the change in regime. He was later Governor of the Hungarian National Bank (MNB) from 1991 until 1994, when he resigned under the pressure of the Socialist Gyula Horn cabinet.

Also included is Attila Chikán, Minister of Economic Affairs from 1998-99 in first Fidesz government of Viktor Orbán, and currently Professor Emeritus and director of the Competitiveness Research Center of the Corvinus University of Budapest, Júlia Király, former deputy governor of the MNB (from 2007until her resignation in 2013), and former Raiffeisen Bank CEO Péter Felcsuti.  

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