Hungary sheds junk status

Rating agency Fitch has upgraded Hungary back to investment grade. The country's credit rating was lowered to junk status in 2011. The Hungarian media debate Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's impact on Hungary's financial standing.

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Heti Válasz (HU) /

Fitch's upgrade gives Orbán a boost

Rating agency Fitch has eased the pressure on Viktor Orbán's government at precisely the right moment, Heti Válasz notes:

“In recent months it looked like the engine propelling the Hungarian economy's growth was stalling. The government's critics started attacking the country's economic course. … Against this backdrop the rating agencies were expected to continue putting the government under pressure. … But Fitch took a completely unexpected decision which has taken all the wind out of the opposition's sails. The rating agency has also punished the liars who claimed that the Hungarian 'economic miracle' was over. With its upgrade Fitch has done the Orbán government a big favour.”

Magyar Idők (HU) /

Hungary deserves upgrade

Under Orbán's government Hungary has made impressive economic progress, which is why it deserves the upgrade, writes the pro-government daily Magyar Idők:

“The downgrade of Hungary's credit rating goes back to 2008 when a centre-left government was in charge. Back then we escaped being downgraded to junk status only because the country took out a huge IMF loan. … The current upgrade can probably be attributed to the fact that the economy has recovered significantly in the last six to seven years under Orbán's government. Our public debt has been lowered from 80 percent to 75 percent and the budget deficit has gone down from six percent to two percent of GDP.”

Népszava (HU) /

Orbán ruined the country's economy

The Orbán government is responsible for Hungary being downgraded to junk status in the first place, the anti-government daily Népszava rails:

“Years after the economic and financial crisis of 2008 Hungary was still recommended for investments by all the rating agencies. The problems started with the change of government in 2010 and the Orbán government's unorthodox economic policies. Between autumn 2011 and spring 2012 we were downgraded to junk status by all three of the big agencies. The reason: the Orbán government pushed through a series of unorthodox measures, among other things nationalising the private pension funds and introducing special taxes. ... The other countries of the region were spared the junk status stigma and raced past us in economic terms.”