Guest Post

The Man Who Wasn’t There

Hungarian daily Népszabadság published an interesting article titled „Kövér has had enough of Habony and Rogán, preparing for serious talk with Orbán”

According to the newspaper’s sources, Kövér (speaker of the Parliament and living conscience of Fidesz) is concerned about the less than transparent increase of  wealth of Orbán’s younger key men: Antal Rogán, propaganda minister (officially called the Minister leading the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister), and Árpád Habony, a man without any formal position or link to government or Fidesz, but who is believed to be one of Orbán’s most important advisers.

Both men display their love of bling and high living, love their Louis Vuitton handbags, Mr Habony also frequents upscale clubs in Ibiza, when not cruising Budapest’s streets in luxury cars. 

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Mr Habony (RIGHT) caught cleaning his nose on the promo video of an Ibiza night club in 2015

Rogán is also living the dream. He never gave a satisfying explanation of how his apartment keeps growing in size (according to the annual wealth declarations – mandatory for MPs), while Mr Habony’s only official source of income is a generous loan from Andy Vajna (Orbán’s film czar and arguably the most famous sugar daddy in Hungary). Habony is also rumored to be building a media empire on public money.

According the to the article, Kövér is concerned about the loss of popularity and support to Fidesz – caused by the flaunting of wealth by leading politicians. He believes that the governing party should avoid even the impression of corruption. Kövér is upset that they don’t even bother to pretend anymore.

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Kövér spanking Rogán Image: varanus.blog.hu

Kövér is highly critical of the way relatives of leading politicians enrich themselves, and he also appear to have some influence with PM Orbán. The rumor is that Orbán’s son in law sold his stake in the company supplying shabby street lights at a high cost in several Fidesz-led towns after Kövér raised the issue with Orbán. The reason he is not going public is his loyalty to Orbán. According to rumors,

he once said with tears in his eyes that Orbán is the only guarantee of Hungarian sovereignty.

At the same time, Kövér has no objections to Orbán selecting a few Hungarian oligarchs, who will benefit from their connection with the Fidesz-led state. They need this to resist the reemergence of the „communists”. The article ends with an earlier quote by Kövér, claiming he doesn’t care about Fidesz, he only cares about  his grandchildren’s future.

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Orbán and Kövér in the early days of Fidesz Image: cink.hu

László Kövér is the only first generation Fidesz politician still in important position today, and the only one who can still argue with Orbán (behind closed doors), according to sources. As speaker of the Parliament for the last six years he has been an important part of Orbán’s regime.

The purpose of this post is not to pass judgement on Kövér – or those who still pledge loyalty to Fidesz, while criticizing the direct consequences of its policies – but to raise certain questions :

  • Where was Kövér when Rogán, Habony, and the others gained so much power?
  • Where was he when the parliament passed laws limiting the transparency regarding the state’s conduct of business?
  • Where was he when parliament passed the tobacco shop law, robbing ordinary people of their livelihood, placing their business in the hands of businessmen close to Fidesz?
  • Does he really think that the only qualification for becoming a successful “capitalist” is being trusted by Orbán?
  • Did he really think that politicians facing no restraints or consequences would not take advantages of their positions to enrich themselves?
  • Did he believe that these newly rich upstarts would be driving around in ten-year-old Suzukis, and spend their holidays camping in tents at lake Balaton?
  • Does the anti-communist Kövér really think that Hungary’s sovereignty is best served by Orbán befriending Russia – led by an ex-KGB official?
  • Did he really think that placing Hungary’s energy future in the hands of the Russians (Paks II) will secure his grandchildren’s future ?
  • And finally – does he really think that Orbán had nothing to do with the current state of affairs?

If the newspaper article reflects his views correctly – he really does sounds like the man who wasn’t there.

Featured image by 444.hu  

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2 thoughts on “The Man Who Wasn’t There

  1. Pingback: Billboard Wars Against Rational Thinking | Meanwhile in Budapest

  2. Pingback: My First Encounter With Corruption | Meanwhile in Budapest

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