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Vote for atlatszo.hu videos in the Radical Democracy Video Challenge

Please vote for our videos in the Radical Democracy Video Challenge. Show your support for atlatszo.hu’s coverage on oligarchs in Hungary by clicking here. Show your support for atlatszo.hu’s coverage on information activism by clicking here. Show your support for atlatszo.hu’s work on raising awareness of ordinary corruption by clicking here. Radical Democracy Video Challenge [...]

Authorities to investigate money laundering at public media fund

The Hungarian tax office NAV will start an investigation into the Hungarian public media fund’s (MTVA) suspiciously pricey contracts with production companies. So far the charges are embezzlement and money laundering in the amount of EUR 1,7 million. Since 2010 extensive media coverage drew attention to the overcharging practices in state television production. It was [...]

Vote tourism and gerrymandering in Hungarian village

Újszentiván, a village near the city of Szeged in southeast Hungary, has experienced an amazing population boom.  According to the local administration’s documentation, 400 people moved into the village in the past three years, boosting the number of residents to above 2000. This is a significant 25% growth compared to the ca. 1600 residents recorded [...]

Wholesale illegal trade going on next to tax authority headquarters

90% of shoes and clothing sold in retail in Hungary arrives from the Far East to a distribution center in Kőbánya in Budapest, and most of these goods never get customed or taxed, says retailer Zoltán Sinka. In the past ten years he sent countless submissions and letters to the competent bodies requesting an investigation [...]

Berlin embassy employee tries to stop atlatszo.hu journalist from reporting

During the 2014 Berlinale film festival a reception was held by the Hungarian National Film Fund at the Embassy of Hungary inBerlin. It is unclear why the embassy and the Film Fund gave this high-profile reception for 200 guests using public funds, even though this year there were no Hungarian films competing for the main [...]

Whistleblower under investigation after making public interest disclosure

A Hungarian patent lawyer made a public interest disclosure to draw attention to a security vulnerability on the National Intellectual Property Bureau (SZTNH) website. Rather than searching for a solution or investigating the bureau’s responsibility, the Bureau instead filed a police report against him. The patent lawyer, György Pintz reported that the SZTNH website was [...]

Yet Another Tax Authority Official Blows the Whistle

The Hungarian Tax Office’s (NAV) special cases unit, the Tax Directorate for Priority Affairs has been systematically disbanded from within, by its upper management – says István Vancsura, former Head of Department at NAV. Vancsura has been providing information to atlatszo.hu regarding the anomalies he experienced in relation to the tax office’s top management but he [...]

Nationalists from the fifth floor

The appearance of the Right Sector in  the avant-garde of the Ukrainian revolution was unexpected not only for the ordinary protesters but even for the political opposition leaders who had never shown confidence in the success of civil unrests. The three main opposition parties, Batkivshchyna (Fatherland), Udar (Punch) and Svoboda (Freedom), tried to keep the [...]

Governing parties are overspending on 2014 campaign

Governing parties are overspending on 2014 campaign

Transparency International Hungary (TI), K-Monitor and Atlatszo.hu have united their efforts to find out how much parties are spending on their campaigns. At their press conference today, they have introduced the website kepmutatas.hu (Hungarian for hypocrisy), where the public can continuously follow how much each party is paying for their campaign. It is already blatantly obvious that [...]

Budapest football club on the verge of liquidation

Offshore companies channeled funds away from Újpest Football Club through false invoicing and VAT fraud, according to a Hungarian tax authority report obtained by atlatszo.hu. The football club was financed from state and municipality budget. In November 2013, the government agreed to take over the debt of six Budapest football clubs. There has not been [...]

Lack of information about Paks Nuclear Power Plant expansion

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on the expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant on 14 January 2014. Media reports have been focusing on several parts of the agreement that have not been disclosed yet to the public. Atlatszo.hu collected the main concerns with the agreement that need [...]

Car leasing companies involved in Hungary tax fraud

Hungarian car leasing companies were involved in VAT fraud by selling and leasing cars at zero-rated VAT via Romanian companies, a source told atlatszo.hu. Networks of companies specialised in EU-level tax evasion emerged in the grain trade sector as well, atlatszo.hu earlier reported. The cases came to light after a Hungarian tax authority whistle-blower reported [...]

Government spokesman’s former company produces news for public and commercial radios

As we recently reported, the National News Agency’s (MTI) radio service provides government-leaning news to public radios, as well as to 27 commercial radio stations. The service, named Hangos Hírek (Voice News), is offered to radio stations for merely 20-100,000 HUF per month. Following our FOIA request regarding the issue, it turned out that the news [...]

Hungary’s new campaign financing law enables fraud

Political parties able to set up a list of candidates for the entire country are eligible to get from 150 up to 700 million HUF state funding for their campaign. The new campaign financing law means a trap for transparency and creates opportunities for frauds. According to the legislation each party with a list of [...]

„Come back when you are dead”

„Come back when you are dead”

The words of an Afghan policeman to a battered wife named Kathra who had asked for protection from her husband. Two weeks later she was dead. Her husband and his family had beaten and burnt her. This is just one of many cases for Kimberly Motley, a former beauty queen who now works as lawyer [...]

Counterterrorism Center sued us unsuccessfully

Counterterrorism Center sued us for correction after we published an article which discussed their highly overpriced presence in last summer’s flood protection. They also filed criminal charges against atlatszo.hu journalist András Becker over his articles, in which he discussed the differences of TEK’s expenses published by themselves and other official sources. The hearing in the [...]

Hungarian oligarchs found behind profitable offshore gas agreement

According to anonymously published documents, MET Zrt gained a huge, 50 billion HUF profit, supposedly by its contracts with state-fund MVM Partner Energy Trading Ltd in 2012. MET Zrt is owned by MET Holding AG, based in Switzerland. The latter has 3 owners: the Hungarian state oil company MOL Nyrt, the Swiss Met Manco AG [...]

Government-leaning radio news offered for peanuts

National news agency’s radio service covers Hungary with government-leaning news. Hangos Hírek (Voice News) is a service of national news agency MTI which gives news service for private radios for only 20-100,000 HUF per month. The 3 minutes long and maximum 17 news bulletins per day costs so little for subscribers that they don’t need to [...]

Public Media Fund subcontracts released

After more than a year of lawsuits, documents of 48 Media Fund subcontractors are now public. Atlatszo.hu filed a freedom of information request in November 2012 to learn about the subcontractor agreements of the Public Media Asset Management Fund (MTVA). After MTVA refused to fulfil the request, we took legal actions and won the first and [...]

Court decided E.ON documents to be published

Hungarian National Asset Management MNV is required by court to publish the documents related to the governmental considerations behind the nationalization of E.On gas distributor, storage and service provider company. MNV denied complying with atlatszo.hu’s FOIA request arguing that the data was used in a decision-making process, and was not to be made public for [...]