Vona: “The debtors are not at fault”
Gábor Vona has announced the latest pledge in his Vona18 series. Jobbik’s proposal offers a solution to the foreign currency loan crisis which, according to the party’s president, is still a major problem in Hungary as “it has been poisoning our society for many years”.
In his press conference, Mr Vona reminded the media that Hungary’s biggest problem was the brain drain, in other words, the westward emigration of our professionals. Having identified a key driver of the process, i.e., the low wages, Jobbik has launched a European Citizens’ Initiative to reduce the wage gap but our citizens’ indebtedness, including the personal crises caused by the foreign currency loans, still make many people emigrate to Western Europe so that they could keep paying the higher instalments.
“If the brain drain is the most dramatic process in Hungary in the past ten years, then the foreign currency loan crisis is indeed the most tragic one.” The sudden increase of monthly instalments left debtors in such dire straits and put many families in so much misery that some of them thought suicide was their only option. In Mr Vona’s opinion, it is more important to find a solution for the debtors’ problems than to look for someone to blame for the time being.
Jobbik’s president said the cynical political statements that debtors in general deserved to get into such a bad situation were morally wrong and unacceptable. Mr Vona explained that debtors were not at fault since the government and the banks created a situation where these people did not really have any other alternative than to take foreign currency loans. Although there are a few debtors who did drive themselves into this situation, they make up such a minuscule portion of the group that you must not judge all debtors based on them, he added.
Criticizing the Fidesz-led governments’ earlier attempts to solve the problem, Mr Vona said they had always put the blame on foreign currency loan holders. Jobbik’s president regretfully established that his party had had to maintain its position on the matter ever since 2009 because Hungary’s government had been unable to solve the problem. Jobbik suggests to review all the financial transactions, establish how much money the debtors have already paid back to the banks and convert their loans into HUF at the exchange rate that was valid at the time when they took them.
“If we did so, the banks may eventually end up owing money to the loan holders and not vice versa.” The president suggested that the new settlement could actually restore the trust between the citizens and the banks, which could in turn prompt more credits and give a new impulse to the economy. He emphasized that “this is neither an allowance nor an assassination attempt against the banks, it is the only fair solution,” adding that Jobbik’s idea was neither unorthodox nor unique to Hungary because the same concept had been applied in neighbouring Romania. Hungary must stop the exploitation and the foreclosures resulting from people being unable to pay their debts and/or pay their utility bills and monthly credit instalments all at the same time.
In addition to brokering a new settlement between the banks and the debtors, the Hungarian government must also make sure that such a disaster can never happen again, Mr Vona stated. It cannot take place without strategic thinking on the government’s part, he added. Jobbik believes the solution lies in implementing the three steps laid out in the party’s election programme:
Firstly, reduce the wage gap between the western and the eastern states of the EU. To achieve this goal, they launched a European Citizens’ Initiative which has become a non-partisan issue. The wide spectrum of backers clearly shows that there is a demand across the board to reduce the wage gap, he explained. He also pointed out that if people were paid decent wages, they would much less likely to end up in a downward spiral of debts. Secondly, focus on business administration studies in Hungary’s education Third, launch social housing projects so that young citizens could establish a home for themselves, Mr Vona concluded.
Alfahír.hu - Jobbik.com