“I don’t want to live in country where two men in dark glasses can appear and ask for my company” – said Péter Ákos Bod, former central bank governor and president of GKI – Economic Research Institute at a forum in February 2018.
“This wasn’t an isolated incident, I’ve heard more than one of them, as it usually happens. People ask me why I don’t report it. These are hard to prove since they are based on verbal messages.”
“But similar incidents are still happening, just recently I was told by an frightened entrepreneur who is in the hotel business that the daughter of a certain very-very high-ranking man has asked for an appointment and it made him freak out.
“Maybe they won’t buy his company after all and his worries were unfounded. But what kind of a world is it when this is what an appointment makes you think? This is not normal.”
– said Bod, who is also a member of the V18 Movement, a group of conservative academics and experts who support the opposition against Fidesz.
“My daughter who’s worked in London for a decade was taken aback when she realized that all that matters here is, positively or negatively, who your father was” – said Bod when he was asked about the possible reasons of young people emigrating en masse Young people find it as a cultural shock that all that matters is connection, he added. Then he reminded corruption is not only outright theft, but also overpricing of (often) unnecessary projects.
Someone from the audience chimed in:
“We heard it over here, that they cannot be caught because everything they do is done legally.”
“I frequently visit medium-sized enterprises, and whenever I talk to them, many will ask how they could make considerable parts of their companies disappear. I always ask why. They say that someone would very much like to buy-out their firms.
“Firm steps should be made against this in Hungary! Many-many leaders of billion-forint firms have been approached by certain people who decided they want to take these firms away. This is absurd! This must be fought hard legally and defend against it!”
A CEO told researchers under condition of anonymity an anecdote – we can actually confirm from the news.
“They buy up a lot of companies…They use mafia tools. They use the power of the state. […] For example, I know of a media company, which made lamppost posters for parties during elections. They were always very careful to have 50-50 percent of Fidesz and MSZP on their posters. It is a private company. Some people went there and said ‘we would like to have 50 percent of your company for free’. As the company did not want to ‘sell’, after two months the same people went back and said ‘we want 80 percent of the company’. Then – when the owners still did not sell – after two weeks they introduced a law that forbids political posters on city lampposts. As a consequence the market value of the firm went down to 10 percent [of its previous value].”
I dare you to start a business in Hungary because, I don’t know, you failed to do proper research and only read a government-sponsored cheerleading site. Or because you know a state secretary and he confidently reassured you that the government is sooo business-friendly, tax rates are soooo low and you also get a good tax cut, my friend.