Companies connected to István Tiborcz, the Prime Minister’s son-in-law, received the largest amount in non-repayable grants given out by the Hungarian Tourism Agency (MTÜ), reports Válasz Online.
MTÜ provided a total of 316.8 billion Ft. (US $845 million) for tourism development between 2018-2022 under the Kisfaludy Program. While many small companies were also able to win tenders for some of this money, the largest amount, 56.4 billion Ft. ($150 million), ended up going to firms associated with the husband of Ráhel Orbán, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s oldest daughter.
In other words, every fifth or sixth forint of Kisfaludy funds enriched the Tiborcz group of companies.
The government’s share for the amount of the tenders was also unusually high, close to 70%. This meant that the winners only have to pay around a third of the value of the proposed development projects, with the state picking up the rest of the bill.
However, Válasz Online also found that the biggest winners of these tenders didn’t even have to pay their own share of the tenders themselves, but received loans from various “friendly” banks for this amount.
These lending institutions included Gránit Bank, MKB, Takarékbank, and OTP, but even the publicly-owned Hungarian Development Bank and the Russian-backed International Investment Bank also lent money to the tender winners, the news site learned. [Népszava]
Thanks for posting this!
Although systemic corruption doesn’t constitute a major problem with most people in Hungary (many say they would do the same if they had the opportunity), it certainly tests the crash-barrier of EU legislation.
The Hungarian government/Orbán family-business, has tested the EU-limits extensively and as a consequense, they know that whatever the consequenses, the Hungarian people (state) pay up, without objections.
What is especially puzzling in this context, is that most HU people will say: “It’s an EU-problem, we didn’t make those rules – so what can we do?”
Does this sort of thing happen in other EU countries, I wonder? What would happen if it did?
It doesn’t happen in Western EU-countries, due to the international competition and transparency and nationally respected, legal conditions of the market. But in central Eastern Europe, where personified regimes are normal, this kind of corruption is widely accepted and I would not rule out similar situations in Romania or Bulgaria (or Croatia, for that matter). It’s the blatant disregard of EU-rules that sets Orbán apart.
When looking to Mediterrainian EU – the tourism picture changes, but corruption still prevails. Spain, Portugal, and Greece have a legacy of total state control, from the 60’s. Italy has a parrallel economy that rivals public control. Ex-Yougoslavia is a free-for-all.
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