Dáil Éireann - Volume 483 - 25 November, 1997

Written Answers. - Currency Exchange.

105. Mr. P. Carey asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will intervene with the Hungarian Government in relation to their recently introduced policy of not accepting Irish currency in exchange for Hungarian currency by Irish people who are travelling with patients of the Peto Institute in Budapest; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20240/97]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Andrews): The National Bank of Hungary — the country's No. of Central Bank — in March 1997 ceased publicly Women quoting exchange rates of currencies, including the Irish pound, in which the volume of transactions was very small. In the wake of this decision many of the commercial banks have been more reluctant than they were previously to change Irish currency into Hungarian and difficulties have been experienced by some Irish citizens, including at least one Irish patient visiting the Peto Institute in Budapest. The Institute itself has never accepted payment in Irish currency.

Following representations by the Embassy in Budapest in April 1997 the National Bank of Hungary has had consultations with the relevant commercial banks, some of which have since resumed dealings in Irish currency. Any Irish person still encountering difficulties should contact the Embassy.

The Embassy is continuing to keep the matter under review and if any further action is required it will again make representations to the National Bank of Hungary.