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There’s no opposition to banks in Hungary, says PM

The notion that there is opposition in Hungary to banks, lending or insurers is "nonsense", Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told a conference organized by the Hungarian Insurers Association (MABISZ) on Wednesday.

Hungary's economy and the insurance sector are in a difficult position; nevertheless, if the economy holds up and grows stronger, financial institutions and insurers will play a big role in keeping the economy on its feet and contributing to economic growth afterward, Orbán said.

The cabinet acknowledges the sacrifice made by the insurance sector to square away the economy in the form of the crisis tax, he said. The deficit could not have been reduced on such a scale without the cooperation of insurers, he added.

The cabinet not only appreciates the insurance sector because of its financial weight but also because of its important social role, Orbán said. The sector encourages people to make long-term savings, a necessity for the success of any economy that seeks to achieve long-term growth, he added.

Insurers are playing a bigger role in Hungary's economy after the crisis than before the crisis, he said, adding that traditional commercial banking activities should be separated from risky investment bank activities, he added.

The government wants to see a two-pillar pension system, including the state and a strong private pillar, Orbán said.

Orbán said Hungary's worst enemy at present is not the crisis, but hopelessness, which politicians, analysts, experts and business people can do the most to overcome. It is not our task to "create a panic" but to act, he said.

"We are coming out of the crisis," Orbán said, assessing Hungary's economic situation. While other countries' state debt is on the rise, Hungary's is falling, he added.

Hungarian aims to create the best business and economic environment in the region by 2014, he said.