Reserves at record high, Hungary surprises Brussels
Hungary's financial reserves had increased significantly in the past three months, partly because of the utility bill reduction scheme and partly because the government had prepared for the era of dangers.
Hungary’s financial reserves are at an all-time high, Prime Minister Viktor Orban reiterated on his Facebook page, after talking about the topic in a radio interview on Friday morning. Reserves have increased significantly over the past three months, partly because of the utility bill reductions put in place and partly because the government is prepared for the era of dangers, the PM said.
Brussels had thus failed to achieve its goal of financially cornering Hungary, he added. This has frustrated decision-makers in Brussels and may be behind the decision to suspend Erasmus applications from Hungary. In the absence of an agreement, the state will cover the costs of next year’s scholarships, so Hungarian students will not suffer any loss, the PM pointed out. However, the universities themselves have already indicated that their scholarship programmes are not in danger, and that they can even finance them themselves, the Hungarian economic portal Vilaggazdasag writes.
Meanwhile, Tibor Navracsics, minister of regional development, wrote a letter to the European Commission in which he pointed out that the Commission’s actions violate Article 13 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights by thwarting programmes, research and training, and by discriminating against institutions and academics. Its decision destroys decades of international professional cooperation and restricts the freedom of scientific life.
In December and January, the debt management centre has withdrawn a total of 4.25 billion dollars, or 1584 billion forints at current exchange rates, Vilaggazdasag wrote. In addition, demand for Hungarian foreign currency bonds tripled, which proves that investors and creditors have unbroken confidence in the country and the Hungarian economy, and trust in its economic performance and stability.
As a result, foreign exchange reserves reached a historic high of 42 billion euros by the beginning of January. So today, Hungary’s reserves are higher than when the country was forced to borrow from the IMF (12.3 billion euros) and the European Union (6.5 billion euros) at the end of 2008. With these loans, the reserves reached 37.8 billion euros by the end of 2011, the paper points out.