One of the sickest things in Hungary is that people regard it as normal that politicians get rich, that they are rich, and that they become politicians exactly because they want to get rich.
Unlike in Czechia, for instance, the richest Hungarian people are not in business but in politics, the juiciest jobs are not in the private sector but in political ass licking. The inconceivable avalanche of EU funds in the last decade has made things a million times worse, giving more money to build political loyalism, but the old socialist attitude has never really disappeared: Politics is where the money is. That is where power is.
In the socialist autocracy the private sector is a bitch of politicians, if it is even allowed to exist. The same stands for nationalist socialism where politicians cronify the economy instead of nationalizing it. In other words, they take money and assets straight home, rather than pretending it’s still public. But the logic is the same: laws screw with the private sector, politicians change the rules in any way they want and tax the morons who weren’t smart enough to hop on the public money bandwagon. Getting rich on the market is for losers. Public money is the easy money.
We have been told that politicians’ wealth disclosure is “for the purposes of transparency, not accountability“. In other words, they declare what they want, but they can’t be held accountable for it. OfFidesz entities can’t be held accountable for anything, given that they control the prosecution who would cover their ears humming the Fidesz anthem when someone brings up the issue of a Fidesz politician being ripe for investigation. But politicians are also sweetly untouchable, immunity being the other thing they need out of politics (apart from getting rich).
This year, the pompous, important men of the parliament have submitted their usual declarations. It is not a big event since they can write what they want – but they can still get caught in lies.
- Orbán’s propaganda minister turned out to have remarried and his young, blushing former-model bride appeared to have bought 1022 hectares of land just before the marriage on a 95% loan from a state bank. Non-Fidesz mortals could never get loans with similar conditions. (The deal was later struck down, allegedly because of the outrage of Orbán, bit worry not. The father-in-law is also a money magnet. He deals in EU funds.)
- The justice minister also managed to secure a juicy loan for buying property. She forked out 8 million forints (EUR 22 thousand) for a 200 million house in Budapest. She also managed to take out the infamous family subsidy/loan to renovate their second home near Balaton, even though that is only supposed to cover the place where the couple and the three kids live.
- Orbán himself is poor AF despite 30 years in politics and 15 in power. It is not even funny anymore to organize sarcastic crowdfunding campaigns to help him out. Acting the poor king is also a sick socialist residue and Orbán knows how to play those strings, from tricky fear to nauseating hypocrisy.
- I grew tired of listing it. They are politically and legally immune to scrutiny. Remember, it is for transparency, not accountability.
The saddest thing is, however, not the numerous cases of corruption-looking things on their declarations. It is the fact that their cumulative holdings of the 125 (mostly Fidesz) politicans that have been in parliament since 2010 has grown more than sevenfold since 2010. In 2010, they had an average net worth of HUF 3.1 million (EUR 8600). By 2020 it was almost HUF 28 million (EUR 78000).
Except for Orbán. He is penniless.