June 11th, 2012
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Stinging humiliation for Orbán as regional peers give cold shoulder to Hungarian joint crisis plan

orban-necas

Holy cow this has got to hurt. According to reports on Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, two of the three other members of the so-called “Visegrad Four” have unceremoniously rejected an idea mooted by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to create a joint “crisis plan” aimed at heading off further contagion from the eurozone crisis into the CEE region.

Orbán’s idea, in a nutshell, is for the four countries to band together to pressure the (foreign) parent banks of local lenders from withdrawing credit from the region – that is, an extension of the so-called “Vienna Initiative” of 2008 – and to get the European Central Bank to add some local liquidity.

But, to put it mildly, so far there hasn’t been much enthusiasm on the part of Hungary’s healthier peers to fall in behind the region’s poster child for financial mismanagement and instability.

Speaking for the Poles, heavyweight Central Bank Governor Marek Belka was pretty diplomatic in brushing off Orbán’s idea, saying “an intergovernmental initiative isn’t the proper thing to do here,” adding that any said need for boosting liquidity in the east was something that should be handled “between the ECB and national central banks.”

Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas (with a sad-looking Orbán at right) was more blunt: “As far as the proposals from Hungary’s prime minister go… we see them, in view of the good condition of the Czech banking sector and the current economic situation, as unnecessary.”

Blunter still was a spokesman for the Czech National Bank, who said that “given the solid fundamentals and the healthy state of the Czech banking sector, the Czech Republic does not need to join such an initiative. Our recommendation is unambiguously negative.”

The Slovaks – who not have the poorest relations with Hungary but are already a full member of the eurozone – would be probably more scathing still, except apparently Budapest hasn’t even let them know about it. Ouch.

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  • Democrat

    Don’t suppose this got too much coverage locally:)

  • NWO

    Orban’s suggestion got the response it deserved. Why doesn’t Orban turn to the Romanians? Their situation in terms of bank lending as far more analogous to Hungary’s than is Poland’s and Cz’s. Of course, Bucharest would give Orban the same response (and boy would that hurt)! Thw banking secotr was sick before FIDESZ, but with Orban’s medicine the sector has only deteriorated (and rapidly so). Only now maybe does the Government realize all their B-S about an economic revival can’t happen without investment (and there is none in this country).

  • Joachim

    Orban should trademark the book title “How to Make a Complete Buffoon of Yourself”. He will need it when he starts to write his autobiography.

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