Fidesz spends public money to build its hinterland in Transylvania

The foundation established by Fidesz that helps Hungarians who live outside the borders, and the foundation of the Hungarian National Council of Transylvania (EMNT) established by László Tőkés both received substantial financial support from Hungarian state institutions and corporations in the past three years. Moreover, the municipality of Budafok-Tétény has been signing contracts worth millions of Forints with a consulting firm that is owned by the president of EMNT’s branch in Kolozs county.

In 1991, Zsolt Németh, secretary of foreign affairs of the current government was a founding member of the Pro Minoritate Foundation that was registered at the Fidesz party headquarters. The foundation, “as an independent, non-profit institution, wants to support the protection and development of national and ethnic minorities’ identity”, was established by Fidesz. The Pro Minoritate Foundation ceased operations in 1999, and its successor, the Kisebbségekért – Pro Minoritate Foundation was established by László Kövér (Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary), Zsolt Németh and László Madarász. It received small amounts of financial support from several Hungarian municipalities, as well as more substantial funding from a couple of state institutions and corporations in the past few years.

The main goal of the Hungarian National Council of Transylvania (EMNT) is supporting Hungarians in Transylvania in their right to autonomous self-rule. EMNT was founded in 2003 by László Tőkés and other politicians from the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ). It is a well-known fact that Zsolt Németh supports civil society and political organizations affiliated with László Tőkés. In 2011, the Hungarian National Council of Transylvania registered its own party called Hungarian People’s Party in Transylvania (EMNP). Following this, EMNT’s foundation also received generous financial support from Hungarian state institutions.

A consulting firm called Carpathia Zrt. has a contract with the municipality of Budapest’s District XXII since 2008. The firm has strong ties to Fidesz and the afore-mentioned politicians: its owner is the president of EMNT’s branch in Kolozs county of Romania, while its managing director has previously worked closely with Zsolt Németh. Up to 2010, the consultancy got more than 6 million HUF yearly for its contributions to preparing tenders, and in 2008 it got an additional 9,2 million HUF for creating Budafok-Tétény’s urban development concept. In 2011, the district paid the firm a premium of 22 million HUF, and in 2012 another 10 million HUF for tasks related to tenders.

In 2012 the municipality invited entries for a public procurement on consultancy activities related to tenders, which was won by its old partner, Carpathia Zrt. In January 2012 the two parties signed a contract according to which the District XXII pays a monthly fee of 350,000 HUF (after taxes) to Carpathia Zrt., which in turn helps them with various jobs related to tenders.

Read this article in Hungarian here.

Read more: Hungarian government provides financial support to Romanian political organisations

Translation by Orsolya Gulyás