Hungary central bank 100% independent: Governor Gyorgy Matolcsy
Hungary's central bank governor rebutted claims of government interference in monetary policy, in his first interview with a foreign broadcaster since his controversial appointment.
International creditors and European officials were unnerved when former Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy, a close associate of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, was elected governor in March, following increasingly autocratic moves by the country's government to restrict media and judiciary freedom.
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There were concerns that Orban might pressure the central bank to write-off the country's enormous foreign currency debts, or convert them into Hungarian forints, in an attempt to get the economy back on track.
However, Matolcsy said it was "out of the question" that the central bank might bend to any pressure from government to pursue more stimulatory policy – despite refusing to rule out further cuts to record-low base rates.
"It hasn't been happening so far and it will not happen. We are strategy partners with the government – and with the European Central Bank. And of course by definition, we are strategy partners with our banks…The central bank of Hungary is completely, 100 percent independent from the government," Matolcsy told CNBC in Budapest on Wednesday.
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He added that Hungary was not alone in having a central bank chief who had previously held power in government – highlighting that Jens Weidmann, President of the German Bundesbank, once served as Chancellor Angela Merkel's economic adviser.
—By CNBC's Katy Barnato