The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it will provide a loan to Hungary (among other countries) in order to encourage stability in the country’s market. While the size of the loan was not announced, analysts have suggested it will be over $10 billion.
Hungary has been hard-hit by the financial crisis, and its leaders expect a recession in 2009. The country recently held a national summit of financial and political leaders to discuss short-term response to the upheaval.
John Horvath is a citizen journalist for OhMyNews. He criticizes the outcome of the summit and the Hungarian government’s overall response to the crisis.
Storm in a Teacup?
A week last Saturday the Prime Minister of Hungary, Ferenc Gyurcsany, called a “national summit” in order to address the financial crisis facing the country. Leading members from the political and business class were all in attendance. Oddly enough, while the purpose of this summit was to bring together all stakeholders in order to exchange ideas on how to best face the global financial crisis, many were not invited. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil organisations were noticeably absent as well as leaders from Hungary’s Roma minority. In essence the government felt that these groups weren’t important when it comes to major issues facing the country and that they have nothing to offer in terms of input.
Aside from this, it quickly became clear that the national summit was nothing more than a photo-op for the present government and an opportunity for political parties to score rhetorical points and further their own agenda. As some foreign observers later noted, the national summit showed to the world everything that Hungary could offer with the exception of unity.
Yet unity in itself is not essential for a country to constructively deal with the present financial crisis. At this point in time innovative ideas are needed on how to deal with an imploding economic ideology called capitalism — not fancy speeches. Sadly, the national summit in Hungary was full of such fancy speeches. The ideas tossed about were shallow and lacked any imagination. Most were simply the stale phrases of the past that sounded nice in theory but in practice signified little or nothing at all.
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