It is difficult to follow exactly how much has been sent to loyalists in various forms during Orbán’s reign for a number of reasons:
- It is difficult to say whether today’s 11 billion is the same as yesterday’s 11 billion gift – and yes, it is exactly like them to confuse this way.
- The giveaway is ongoing. All you hear is me saying all-time record over and over again – because every time they do something they increase it by an order of magnitude.
- You would love to see a chart with final numbers and regional and global, GDP-adjusted comparative data, I know. But it would take a lot of journalists sitting day and night, catching overnight legislative rushes, finding the hidden sections that happen to shift a few billions here and there and keeping a unified database – but even those who work on the field can’t catch them all.
- There are secret decrees that only the recipient knows.
These decrees are not technically confidential. You are just not informed about them. According to the investigative site Átlátszó.hu there have been as many as 1549 secret decrees issued since Orbán came to power in 2010 and a journalist can only obtain what is in them through slow and costly freedom of information requests and the following court farce when organizations refuse to comply with court orders and get sued again, etc.
503, the third of these decrees were issued in 2021, the year Orbán started to move every state asset into loyalist hands, as if he was preparing to lose and to leave behind an ungovernable country with Orbánist oligarchs wielding more economic power than whoever is in power.
We have no idea how much wealth was given away to loyalist entities, asset management vehicles (misnamed as foundations) and “cultural” goals. Actually, the real question is whether there will be anything left to work with when they are finished with the country. The answer to that is self-evident: no.
What we do know that this is the biggest privatization event in the country’s history – except the beneficiaries don’t even pay anything for this, not even a symbolic or outrageous sum like in 1990.