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Hungarian parliamentary fractions spent 6.4 billion HUF in two years
The website 444.hu has asked for and received the list of the 1542 contracts of amounts not exceeding 5 million forints, and has published a report of its peculiarities. Between January 2011 and spring 2013, the factions have spent 6.4 billion forints, each contracting its own favorites.
According to government sources, the inquiry into the factions’ contracts by 444.hu was the reason for the ruling party forcing the amendment of the freedom of information act that binds access to information. Regardless, 444.hu received the list of the faction contracts; consulting is still the biggest business everywhere.
Between 2011 and 2013, some of the governing Fidesz’s favorites were the “Századvég Politikai Iskola Alapítvány” and the “Századvég Gazdaságkutató” (Századvég Centre for Political Analysis and Research and Forsense Market). Altogether they received 19.9 million forints for communication consulting and studies. Századvég’s payments are exceeded only by those paid to Strategopolis which received 30.8 million between 2011 and 2013. Current government spokesperson András Giró-Szász left the company on the 30 September 2011, selling his share of 49.66%. The law firm Giró-Szász & Co., owned by the uncle of the spokesperson (to whom he referred to as “not a close relative”), received 14.4 million forints.
Another favored company, Wieber and Wieber Ltd. received eleven months’ payments of 600.000 forints for communication consulting to the Fidesz faction. The company’s co-owner, Orsolya Wieber is the wife of Philip Rákay, the “intendant” of the public television channels.
KDNP party favors Civil Flotta Bt. belonging to KDNP politician László Zentai – the company earned 12.6 million for consulting.
MSZP party’s highest paid contract between 2011 and 2013 was with Observer Médiafigyelő (Observer Media Monitor) for 14.4 million; and about a million less, 13.65 million was paid for communication consulting to Hillal Central Europa Ltd., directed and co-owned by Tamás Galambos, ex-media chief and communication project manager of the 2002-2006 socialist government. Bonus Progressive Ltd., belonging to faction spokesperson Zsolt Török, received 12.5 million for providing consulting services to his own political party.
Jobbik party’s largest payment, 15.7 million was to Sententia Nostra Ltd., registered in March 2010 and co-owned by Attila István Tari, ex-leader of the party’s Church Cabinet. The second place with 14.75 million for verbal communication consulting goes to Paradox Media Ltd., registered in October 2011. Company owner Alexandra Kilián has an e-mail address ending with @barikád.hu, which belongs to the leading Hungarian far-right magazine in the company registry.
The Fidesz faction contracted BXL-1128 Bt. on 1 November 2012, paying 1.38 million forints for two months of consulting, and 4.14 million for the first half of 2013, in return for political and foreign economy consulting. The company is owned by Balázs Hidvéghi, a former deputy state secretary for international and EU affairs.
The MSZP faction paid 3 million in 2011, 2.875 million in 2012, and again 3 million this year for “Counsel regarding national, ethnic and minority policy” to László Teleki, ex-secretary of state of roma issues who didn’t make it into the Parliament in 2010. Neither did Zsolt Legény, former socialist representative but he wasn’t forgotten about either: his company, L-Zs Consulting Ltd. received 6.6 million for consulting in the past three years.
The Jobbik faction has paid Jobbik member Tamás Gergő Samu 2.4 million since 2011 for various studies. The gentleman decided to step down from his parliamentary mandate in 2011 after receiving a suspended jail sentence for beating up a police officer.
Gyula Grosics counseled Fidesz 23 times since the beginning of 2011, for a total of 8.4 million forints. Csilla Jenei Rubovszky, KDNP deputy mayor of the District V of Budapest and daughter of a prominent KDNP founding member received 12 million from the Fidesz faction for three instances of legal counsel. Gerilla Press Ltd., publisher of right-wing websites Polgár Portál and PestiSrácok, received 4.4 million from Fidesz for communication consulting.
MSZP contracted left-wing newspaper Népszava for distribution for a total of nearly 9 million forints. More than 9 million was paid for communication consulting to Csucsó Kiadói és Szolgáltató Bt., owned by left-wing journalist Judit Csernyánszki, atlatszo.hu has established. It also came to our attention that the law firm “Sinyei-Kiss Dávid Ügyvédi Iroda”, receiving 9.4 million forints, has no traces at all online, however, its namesake used to work for the faction in various legal positions.
The Jobbik faction contracted Carabinieri Hungary Ltd., owned by the president of the party’s Gyöngyöshalász village organization for 1.8 million forints in 2013 for a study on the “Current state of gypsy crimes in Hungary”. Hungarian comedy-actor-turned-far-right-political-figure Mátyás Usztics held communication trainings for Jobbik three times for a total price of 5.4 million forints. Kárpáti Kerecsen Ltd., owned by the party president’s Gyömrő town organization analyzed corruption cases for the faction for 6-900,000 HUF each, for a total of 6.2 million forints. The law firm of Dr. László Fila, clerk in the troubled village of Gyöngyöspata received a total of 9.78 million. One of the editors of the far-right Barikád magazine and daughter-in-law of the faction’s second-in-command, Csilla Balczó-Sándor, wrote studies for the faction each year, receiving a total of 2.65 million forints from the Jobbik faction.
Company data was provided by Opten.
This article was published in Hungarian here on 24 May 2013.
Translated by atlatszo.hu volunteers.