Hungarian central bank (NBH) governor Andras Simor warned on Sunday that political attacks against the bank could hurt the economy which is still fragile, and confirmed in a statement that he would not resign.
He also offered cooperation to the next government in its efforts to lead Hungary out of its worst recession for almost two decades.
My person, and through that the National Bank of Hungary, has become part of the political campaign, Simor said.
The central bank will do its job, and will continue its professional work in the next three years as long as my mandate lasts, offering cooperation to the government of the Republic of Hungary, while maintaining its independence, he added.
Center-right Fidesz party officials have called for Simor's resignation in a flurry of public comments following Fidesz' landslide election victory on April 25.
Analysts have warned that the next government will step on thin ice if it tries to remove Simor as that could lead to a conflict with the European Central Bank and possible market turbulence.
Simor said trust in the central bank was key to economic stability.
The economy is still fragile, he said. Maintaining public confidence in national institutions and the tax system is our joint responsibility (with the government) and one of the safeguards of economic stability.
He said steering the economy back to growth also required cooperation between the government and the central bank.
It's our joint interest to preserve stability and start economic growth, he said. Dialogue based on facts and cooperation between the prime minister and the central bank governor, is needed for that.
Prime minister elect Viktor Orban said after his election victory that the NBH was not a shelter for off-shore knights, referring to earlier criticism by his party of Simor's personal investments in a Cyprus-based company.
Simor reiterated in the statement that he did not evade Hungarian tax payment with the Cyprus-based company, and that he had sold his interest in the firm and invested the proceedings in investment funds in Hungary.
Simor said he had not had any offshore firms since he was appointed to head the National Bank. As I have said several times in the past, prior to my appointment (to the central bank) I invested my revenues generated abroad in the foreign-based enterprise which was earlier in my ownership, he said.
The company never received any transfer, funds from Hungary and it did not have clients in Hungary.
(Reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by Mike Nesbit)