A major NATO ally of Hungary's tried to topple the Hungarian government and the central bank in 2015 and the collapse of brokerage Quaestor the same year was part of that plot, National Bank of Hungary Governor Gyorgy Matolcsy said on Wednesday.
He did not name the country, and the central bank declined to comment when asked to respond by Reuters.Socialist lawmaker Attila Mesterhazy said that Matolcsy might have referred to the United States in that case.
Quaestor collapsed early in 2015 after it was found to have issued at least 150 billion forints ($500 million) more than it was allowed under its issuance programme.
Two other brokerages faced regulatory action within weeks, and the scandal weighed on the forint.
"It fits into the activity conducted from the Budapest embassy of a large NATO ally country, that aimed to topple the government and the central bank and started in the autumn of 2014," Matolcsy told parliament.
The central bank, as financial supervisory authority, suspended the brokerages' licences.
Matolcsy, a close ally of authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's, has been head of the National Bank of Hungary since 2013. Orban came to power in 2010.
The bank has cut its main interest rate to a record low of 0.9 percent since then, and carried out a massive funding for lending programme to boost the economy.
The Socialist Party has called for an investigative committee to be set up to establish the facts concerning a statement by the central bank governor that Hungary's national sovereignty had been threatened by a NATO member state in 2014. Attila Mesterházy, chairman of parliament's budget committee, said that governor of the National Bank of Hungary György Matolcsy's accusation that a third country had attempted to undermine the government with a view to ousting it deserved scrutiny. He added that it was clear from the context of Matolcsy's briefing that he meant the United States.
Mesterházy said that either Matolcsy had "talked a lot of nonsense" or he had brought up a grave problem which should be investigated. He added that if Matolcsy had not spoken the truth, then he should resign. If he had done so, then the issue arises as to why he had not briefed lawmakers on the issue beforehand, he said.
Orban's diplomatic spats with the United States since he came to power in 2010 have included a travel ban on six Hungarian officials in 2014 over corruption allegations. The move was seen as another warning to Budapest to reverse policies Washington regarded as threatening democratic values.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 March 2017 20:53