Hungary court's president says may not rule on forex loans on Monday
BUDAPEST Dec 14 (Reuters) - Hungary's top court may not reach a verdict on what to do about foreign currency loan lawsuits when it meets on Monday, its president was quoted as saying in a newspaper interview.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, fighting for re-election early next year, wants banks to ease the burden on the many households left with huge debts after the home loans they took out in foreign currencies ballooned as Hungary's forint sank.
Orban's government has said a ruling by the country's Supreme Court, the Kuria, as well as a legal opinion by the Constitutional Court, would serve as a blueprint for a relief package for households saddled with the loans.
Legal experts have said the court was unlikely to deliver the kind of ruling that would cripple Hungary's mainly foreign-owned banks, which booked losses of about a billion euros in a previous foreign currency repayment programme.
"Convening the meeting does not mean that the council will necessarily and immediately form an opinion on all seven issues examined," Supreme Court President Peter Darak said.
"The end result, as in similar cases, will depend on what opinions are formed at the meeting. This cannot be predicted," he told Magyar Nemzet in an interview published on Saturday.
Darak said a panel of 36 judges would take part in the deliberations and any decision would require a two-thirds majority of votes. He has also invited several experts to form an opinion in the matter, he said.
The court has been exploring the issue for months, therefore, the Monday meeting would be "neither the beginning nor the end" of its activities in the area, he said.
"No one should expect a solution from the Kuria or the justice system that is not in harmony with their constitutional role," Darak told the paper.
"With its decisions and rulings the Kuria can serve the development of the law but legislation and the regulation of living standards are not its job."
The Kuria holds a news conference at 1200 GMT on Monday. (Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Louise Ireland)