As a newspaper of record, the Budapest Beacon is not in the habit of speculating. However, yesterday’s highly unusual announcement that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and central bank governor György Matolcsy would hold a joint press conference at 9 am this morning has us on the proverbial edge of our seats! (In the immortal words of Tim Curry alias Dr. Frank-N-Furter, we’re just dying with anticipation to “go down to the lab and see what’s on the slab”!).
Will Viktor Orbán announce that he has accepted György Matolcsy’s resignation and is appointing him ambassador to Zimbabwe where a man of his talents can be appreciated?
Or, having faithfully served his country and party by transferring USD 800 million to various foundations controlled by the central bank, is Matolcsy taking a much-deserved early retirement?
Certainly the fact that, as central bank governor, Matolcsy allowed a 100% Hungarian-owned bank to fail, 49% of which was owned by the Hungarian state, is no reason for parliament to suspend him! Nor is the fact that the forint has lost 25% of its value against the US dollar since Orbán took office in 2010 any reason to suspect he is not completely satisfied with Hungary’s central banker, especially given Matolcsy’s refined taste in art and uncanny ability to overpay for real estate!
Or will they simply use this as a morale-boosting opportunity to sing one another’s praises, since nobody outside of ruling party circles and pro-government newspapers owned by Fidesz oligarchs seems to think very highly of either one of them these days?