Fact Check: Hungary Is NOT Refusing To Adopt Euro Currency To Facilitate Israeli 'Occupation'


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: Hungary Is NOT Refusing To Adopt Euro Currency To Facilitate Israeli 'Occupation' Fiscal Reasons

Is Hungary refusing to adopt the euro as its currency in order to facilitate an Israeli "occupation" of the country by allowing Jewish investors to purchase real estate at more favorable exchange rates? No, that's not true: A Hungarian central bank official said Hungary cannot join the Eurozone at present because its economy is not in good enough shape. Moreover, there is no evidence that Israel is "occupying" Hungary: In 2022, Israelis were not the top foreign investors in Hungary's property market and accounted for a tiny fraction of real estate transactions by private individuals.

The claim appeared in a Hungarian-language video (archived here) on TikTok on October 14, 2023, under the caption "We will be the new Palestine!" It shows part of a lecture delivered by Miklós Szedlacsik, a business coach, on October 8, 2023. Szedlacsik says:

Look, there are three countries here that closed their borders to migrants...these same three countries did not change currencies. Neither Hungary, nor Poland, nor the Czech Republic changed currencies, so none of these countries got the euro. Why? You know, because that way, if the countries have their own currencies, then they can play with the exchange rates... And if, by chance, there's a need for mass immigration -- from Israel -- then [the Israelis] can buy real estate more cheaply compared to their own currency... So, these three countries do not allow Arab migrants in, but the Israeli newcomers, who are not migrants, but, you know, occupiers, they let them in. They have no problem with that at all.

(All translations from Hungarian to English by Lead Stories staff).

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Oct 27 10:16:44 2023 UTC)

This fact-check will focus on the claim as it relates to Hungary.

Hungary, like all countries that joined the European Union after 1992, is required to adopt the euro as its currency. At a public forum on August 26, 2023, Gyula Pleschinger, a member of the Hungarian National Bank (MNB)'s Monetary Council, said Hungary is presently unable to switch to the euro because its economic indicators are not robust enough to fulfil the Maastricht criteria, the fiscal and monetary benchmarks that Eurozone aspirants must meet. At the 23:57 mark of a video of his talk, Pleschinger said:

At the National Bank, we calculate a so-called 'suitability index,' which is one-third weighted by the nominal criteria, the Maastricht criteria, one-third weighted by 'convergence criteria,' which means GDP per capita... our embeddedness in the European Union economy, the weight of our trade within the European Union... and one-third weighted by macroeconomic factors, like, what do I know, inflation, the national debt... Today, this index shows that it is not appropriate for us to join the Eurozone... According to the, I might say, official estimate of the Hungarian National Bank, it may happen sometime in the 2030s.

Pleschinger did not mention the need to maintain control over currency exchange rates so that Israeli investors could gobble up Hungarian property on the cheap.

Israelis are not even the top foreign investors in Hungary's real estate sector. Data published by the Prime Minister's Office (downloadable here) shows that Israelis received permits to buy 182 properties in 2022, fewer than the 192 permits granted to Russians and the 775 permits awarded to citizens of China.

Israelis received 7.4 percent of the permits Hungary granted to foreign real estate investors in 2022, compared with 5.2 percent in 2021 and 7.7 percent in 2020, according to the Prime Minister's Office's numbers (downloadable here). The 182 Israeli property purchases that Hungarian authorities approved in 2022 amounted to just 0.1 percent of the 131,890 real estate transactions between private individuals recorded by Hungary's Central Statistical Office (KSH) that year. (Percentage calculations by Lead Stories staff).

Moreover, the number of Israelis who actually reside in Hungary is minuscule. The KSH has recorded 5,855 Israeli immigrants since 2000, which is equivalent to 0.06 percent of Hungary's current population of 9.6 million.

This TikTok is an iteration of the conspiracy theory that Jews have a secret plot for global control. As the U.S. Anti-Defamation League states:

Jews account for approximately 0.2 percent of the global population. And yet antisemites believe that this tiny minority is not only on a quest for total world domination, but is already in control of banks, the media, industry, government -- even the weather.


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