PM, Fidesz: Kúria “cowardly” for siding with banks

Issues

The decision of the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, on forex-based bank loans last week demonstrates that the top court took the side of the banks, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday. “As there are plenty of those taking the side of banks, we will remain on the side of the people,” Orbán told Hungarian reporters.

The Kúria made a legal-conformity decision last Monday and ruled that loans denominated in foreign currency were not against the law and did not constitute usury. Orbán said he agreed with those who urge the Kúria to rule without delay about the legality of banks’ use of exchange-rate margins and their unilateral decisions changing the interest rates.

“We are expecting a position about the legality of these practices and as soon as this is available, there will be a clear situation from the point of law and then we can take the necessary steps,” Orbán said. He declined to reveal, however, what steps are planned and added that it is too early to discuss this issue.

“Until then, I advise all Hungarian citizens to enter the exchange-rate cap scheme ... regardless of what legal disputes are still under way,” he added.

Kósa calls Kúria “cowardly”
Fidesz believes that the Kúria should decide on the unilateral foreign-currency loan amendments and the issue of the exchange-rate difference as well rather than wait for the European Court of Justice, Lajos Kósa, vice president of the governing Fidesz party, said on Friday.

Kósa noted that Hungary's supreme court, the Kúria, decided on Monday that foreign-currency loan contracts were not unlawful, but turned to the European Court of Justice on the issue of unilateral contract amendment and the exchange-rate difference.

Kósa said this was a “cowardly move,” which only favors the banks.

Speaker of Parliament László Kövér also said late last Thursday that the Kúria took a cowardly decision when they did not decide on unilateral amendments and the exchange-rate difference. Kövér was speaking during a program on the commercial television station Hír TV.

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