HVG is the Hungarian version of The Economist – an economic weekly that has been published for decades. Its front pages are always political caricatures featuring on the very same billboards – also for decades.
Here are a few front pages that don’t need translation.
Last week, however, HVG dared to write a cover story about the publicly known business “successes” of Fidesz wives, and put Mrs Antal Rogán on its cover.
The very same week, Mrs Antal Rogán also happened to feature her business merits on her very own billboards, so she clearly doesn’t mind being seen.
I am calling her Mrs Rogán because that is her job. She is one of the extremely irritating Fidesz wives who simply forgot why they should not flaunt their money. It incenses people – not just because they generally envy success (they do) – but because these women are continuously featured in their own tabloid media, bragging about their Gucci and success.
Meanwhile, their sole business success is being wife (or daughter) of an OfFidesz oligarch, minister, or strongman.
HVG wrote a cover story about their publicly known business dealings and put Mrs Rogán on the cover. The next thing they knew, Mahir (the billboard company that has featured their front pages for the last 40 years) cut contract with them. Mahir is owned by Orbán’s top oligarch and rumored front, the guy who was a humble gas repairman until 2015 – but made it to the top of the Forbes list by 2018, fed on a diet of public procurement tenders and EU money – one gigantic contract a day on average.
Useful idiots of Fidesz abroad will no doubt call this a business decision. But Orbán cares less and less about appearances, and one day his apologists will have to swallow the inexcusable without any ketchup – and they will do it because there is nothing they can do against him.