Hungarian vs Greek crisis management

Unlike Greece, which has become the colony of its lenders, Hungary was much better at handling the 2008-2010 global financial crisis, Norwegian economic and political analyst Christian Anton Smedshaug told Mandiner in an interview.

editor: REMIX NEWS

Christian Anton Smedshaug is the leader of the Norwegian AgriAnalyse Institute, whose main areas of research are agricultural, economic policy and political analyses. He is also a professor at Oslo University and author of the book “Debt. How the West deceives itself”. The following are excerpts from an interview he gave to Hungarian news portal Mandiner.

M: – What is the main message of your book?

CAS: – The neoliberal globalist paradigm did not deliver the prosperity we expected it to. Neither did it result in a safer world. This model has of course served well the interests of the elites and the multinationals, but not the welfare of the masses. Traditional political parties continue to stick to this obsolete idea. In my book I argue that it is time to find a new, better equilibrium.

M: – You wrote that Hungary and Greece are examples of entirely different crisis management approaches. What do you mean by that?

CAS: – One cannot exactly say that the two countries were in the same situation, but it is certainly true that both were in very deep trouble. The public debt of Greece is higher, but the problem in Hungary has been made worse by the fact that many individuals had debts denominated in foreign currencies. The situation was similar in the sense that both countries had to make very difficult economic policy decisions.

M: – And what was the difference?

CAS: – Hungary has brought these difficult crisis management decisions on its own, in relative independence. It had protected Hungarian employees and households, because it had a strong central bank and currency, meaning it had its own monetary policy.

Greece – being highly dependent on the European Central Bank and the European Union – did not have the sovereignty of Hungary to help it weather the crisis.

M: – So you would not recommend Hungary to introduce the euro?

CAS: – I wouldn’t recommend it to any country. The euro is a flawed currency and one of the fundamental reasons why Europe cannot find the proper balance between supranational and national. The only country the euro benefits is Germany, because the euro is seriously undervalued compared to what the German mark would be. It is neither fair, nor wise to use a monetary union to create political union.


tend: 1680302214.3081