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Tag: Attila Sztojka

Fidesz has betrayed Hungary’s gypsy population, says Dialogue’s Tordai

picture of Bence Tordai

Fidesz has betrayed Hungarian Gypsies, as well as the majority of society, making it unworthy of any vote from an ethnic Roma, claims opposition party Dialogue.

Bence Tordai, deputy leader of the party’s parliamentary caucus (pictured), said at an online press conference on Facebook yesterday that Attila Sztojka, Government Commissioner for Roma Relations, had tried to both bribe and extort Roma politicians to support Fidesz. Tordai’s accusation was based on audio leaked to the press a few days ago of a meeting between the commissioner and Roma representatives in Budapest last month.

Tordai felt that the Sztojka’s statements were in fact an attack on democracy. As such, the party has addressed its concerns in writing to Interior Minister Sándor Pintér to determine which government contracts Attila Sztojka was referring to in the recording, and whether national Roma local government representatives were being wiretapped, which the government commissioner appeared to allude to. As Sztojka himself noted, he is the head of the Directorate General for Social Opportunities within the Ministry of the Interior, and as such, he claimed to “know a lot of things about everybody.”

Momentum politician Lajos Lőcsei believes that the leaked footage proves that the government is eavesdropping and intimidating public figures “who do not belong to their inner circle,” which is why “we have to say ‘no’ to the corrupt elite leadership of Fidesz.”

Sándor Berki, Dialogue’s ethnic and minority rapporteur, said that the recording shows Fidesz’s true position on Roma policy, and that current Roma public figures need to be replaced for any advancement on Roma-related issues.

[Magyar Hang]

Interior Ministry reponds to leaked audio of Government Commissioner Attila Sztojka promising favors

picture of Attila Szojka

A day after Népszava reported on an audio recording of Government Commissioner Attila Sztojka (pictured) alledgedly offering certain favors in return for “political results,” the Ministry of the Interior has responded to these claims, writes Telex.

The Interior Ministry (BM) stated that there had been several untrue allegtions published about the meeting held on December 29, 2021 between Attila Sztojka, government commissioner responsible for Roma relations, Roma nationality advocate Félix Farkas, and representatives of the National Roma Self-Government (ORÖ). The Office of the Government Commissioner within BM issued a statement to say that the meeting was held to discuss ORÖ’s precarious financial situation, and for the government commissioner to talk about setting up the Roma Public Life Academy.

However, the recording appears to tell a different story, as Attila Sztojka seemingly dangled contracts and subsidies for certain ORÖ members if they put the government’s preferred candidate at the top of the Roma nationality list. At stake is a seat in Parliament, which could be crucial for Fidesz in the event of a close election.

Stojka told the invited representatives on the recording that they could not go wrong if they voted for the right leader of the list. The government commissioner promised them, “I’ll bring you some opportunities, there’s no doubt about that.”

He also talked about one-off grants that would be paid in late January or early February. However, he also warned those present that “As someone in BM, I know a lot of things about everybody. I even know who spoke with whom, and in what way.”

The Directorate General for Social Opportunities, which Sztojka heads, is under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior. The letter sent by the Office of the Government Commissioner at the Ministry of the Interior does not respond to the specific allegations mentioned above, but only writes that several untrue allegations had been published about the meeting held at the Benczúr Hotel in Budapest without saying what it disagreed with.

Separately, ORÖ President János Agócs wrote to Telex on Wednesday to state that several such meetings had been held, to which only certain members of ORÖ had attended. As president of the organization, he said he had not been invited to any of them.

The ORÖ President acknowledged that those who took part in the meeting “perform expected political activities in return for certain services.” The issue was also a topic at Wednesday’s ORÖ meeting, where Agócs maintained “a strong suspicion that a crime had been committed.”

The background behind all this is that for the first time, the list of Roma nationalities list did not turn out as favorably for the Fidesz-KDNP coalition as they had hoped. The government wanted to put Félix Farkas, a favorite of Fidesz-friendly Lungo Drom, at the top of the Roma nationality list, but the National Roma Self-Government chose President Agócs instead.

This decision was then annulled by the Constitutional Court, and ORÖ must now amend its rules of procedure and hold a new assembly to choose who will run in the 2022 parliamentary elections on its nationalities list.

[Telex]

Government Commissioner Attila Sztojka caught on leaked audio promising favors, expecting “political results”

picture of Attila Sztojka

Népszava obtained an audio recording which it claims was secretly recorded at a meeting held in a hotel in Budapest at the end of December. Attila Sztojka, Government Commissioner for Roma Relations and head of the Directorate General for Social Opportunities in the Ministry of the Interior (pictured), and members of the National Roma Self-Government (ORÖ) can be heard on the audio.

In the recording, Sztojka can be heard offering contracts to representatives “who are within this group” with the Roma Public Life Academy, in part through his leadership of the Directorate General for Social Opportunities. He added, “I’ll bring you some opportunities, there’s no doubt about that.”

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a purchase, I don’t want to buy anyone.

-said the government commissioner, adding that he would expect certain political and professional results in return for the above. However, he did not elaborate on what he meant by “political results” in this context.

At the end of the discussion, Stojka also mentioned that as a member of the Interior Ministry, he was aware of everone’s secrets.

I know a lot about everybody. I even know who spoke with whom, and in what way.

-Attila Sztojka is alleged to have said on the recording.

Stojka only told the Hungarian daily that he did not know about the audio recording, but that he did not agree to make it and was only willing to answer questions about it in writing. The paper also reached out to János Csóka, the leader of the Lungo Drom caucus, who said that ORÖ representatives met with the government commissioner in the second weekend of December.

Following Népszava’s report yesterday, independent Member of Parliament Ákos Hadházy wrote on Facebook that he would be reporting the government commissioner for suspected abuse of office and extortion. Hadházy added that there was nothing new about any of this.

[HVG]