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Opposition says Hungary government knew of failing brokerage

March 25, 2015

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungarian opposition parties say Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government may have received insider information and known in advance that a large brokerage was about to file for bankruptcy protection this month.

The National Bank of Hungary took control of the Quaestor brokerage on March 10 after it was suspected of selling unauthorized bonds worth some 150 billion forints ($500 million). In previous weeks, two other, smaller financial firms had come under investigation for allegedly embezzling investors’ funds.

Orban said Wednesday that just before the Quaestor scandal he had ordered all government ministries to withdraw public funds from brokerages due to concerns about market stability.

Several opposition parties have appealed for investigations, saying the timing of the ministries’ withdrawals is suspicious. The Socialist Party called on Orban to resign.

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