Monday, November 21, 2011

Uh, oh. Now (and once again), it's Hungary

The Hungarian government has tried to strengthen its financial picture. But as The Economist reports, it again says it needs help from the International Monetary Fund to make it happen.
Gy├Ârgy Matolcsy, the finance minister, told Parliament that in returning to the IMF, the country was seeking a “safety net” utterly unlike the standby loan Hungary walked away from last spring. “The situation is completely different,” he said, “because we are starting discussions about a financial safety net from which we don’t want to draw down a single penny.” That suggested he was seeking a loan without too many conditions attached. However, such favourable terms may not be forthcoming. The IMF offers loans with few strings attached to countries with sound finances that are in temporary difficulties. But few see Hungary’s troubles in such a benign light.
EuroNews takes a closer look at what the government's decision means in this report:

Meanwhile, there is political posturing on a completely different front. AFP reports that the right-wing party in control of the government wants to hold the opposition Socialists responsible for crimes committed by Communists prior to 1989.
Hungary's governing Fidesz party has submitted a bill to parliament that would hold the opposition Socialists accountable for crimes committed by the former communist party before 1989.
"The Hungarian state cannot be based on the sins of the communist regime," according to the bill put forward late Sunday, according to national news agency MTI.
"Due to the personal continuity binding the leadership of the old and the new party," the Socialists (MSZP) should be held accountable for the actions of the former communist regime, which has until now escaped scrutiny, it added.
The bill, which will be included in the constitution if passed, describes the former communist party - the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (MSZMP) - and its successors as "criminal organisations."
When the country's new constitution takes effect on January 1, "there will be an opportunity to do justice," it says.
I don't think the IMF would link any decisions about a new loan to the government ignoring the Communist era, but it might provide for interesting conversation.

No comments: