Hungarian central bank chief criticizes government’s economic policies

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Hungarian central bank chief predicts 15%-18% inflation for next year

Hungary's inflation could be between 15% and 18% next year, the governor of the country's central bank, György Matolcsy said on Monday. Matolcsy criticized the Orban government's economic policies, such as the price caps imposed on essential food items and fuel. According to Reuters, Matolcsy told a parliamentary committee that "all price caps should be phased out immediately.

"We, the NBH have warned that the government's crisis management strategy of the past half year has been wrong," the governor said. "We have said this to the government several times," referring to the price caps.  Matolcsy rarely criticized Viktor Orban's policies before and was known as an ally to the prime minister.

Orban government scraps price cap on fuel after shortage causes panic buy

Hungary's government scrapped a fuel price cap on fuels on Tuesday after panic buying caused gasoline shortages across the country. Late Tuesday, Viktor Orban's chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said the government has to abolish the price cap introduced a year ago.

"We could not wait any longer, as this is the only way to ensure the security of supply," Gulyas said during a joint briefing with MOL Chairman Zsolt Hernadi.

"The situation had become “chaotic” and prolonging it threatened the country’s energy security," Hernadi said during the briefing. “It’s not good when something is expensive. The only thing worse is when we don’t have something at all,” he added. Hernadi stressed that Hungary must restore confidence among oil importers, who shunned the country over the past year. 

Global State of Democracy: Hungary is ‘severely backsliding’ 

Hungary and Poland are “severely backsliding” when it comes to democratic standards, according to the latest report by Global State of Democracy. The report refers to severe democratic erosion in the central European country. In Europe “the relative bright spots are overshadowed by the general democratic erosion",  Global State of Democracy writes.

Campaign against misinformation and fake news to be launched next year

A new campaign against disinformation will launch in January 2023 as an expanded version of the Hungarian Digital Media Observatory (HDMO). Researchers from Political Capital and  Mérték Media Monitor will study the spread of disinformation and the effectiveness of measures to combat it.

Journalists from the French news agency AFP and the Hungarian fact-checking site Lakmusz will continue their fact-checking work, the Idea Foundation will provide media literacy courses, and the digital infrastructure of HDMO will be provided by the French ePressPack. " It was immediately obvious after launching Lakmusz, how much the Hungarian audience was waiting for such a site: we reached our annual goal of reaching 1 million readers within the first six months. We are proud that we can continue this work," Blanka Zoldi, editor-in-chief of Lakmusz said.

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