The Government will decide in the autumn on whether to include foreign-currency car loans in the forint conversion relief scheme, Minister of National Economy Mihály Varga said late on Thursday.

Speaking on M1 public television, Mr. Varga referred to an earlier Supreme Court ruling and said the legal uniformity decision on foreign currency loans also extended to car loans, but added that this did not mean an automatic conversion to Hungarian forints.

Mr. Varga pointed out that the Government has maintained its position that assistance should be primarily focused on troubled housing loan borrowers, but would also consider ways to convert other types of commercial loans. He added that there were currently some 150,000 car loans totalling some 162 billion forints running in euros and Swiss francs.

The Minister noted the difference between mortgages and car loans and said that "when a debtor is about to lose their home, the Government must intervene without delay". He added, however, that if debtors find themselves in difficulties, “homes may also be endangered because of car loans”.

(Ministry of National Economy)