Corruption is a feature, not a bug

Another 15 billion transferred to unnamed asset management entity 4 days before elections

Orbán’s coup-like outsourcing of public assets put on an interactive map.

They are sweeping the budget for every last cent. It should be good news, in a twisted way. It looks like Orbán is fattening up to rule from opposition, amassing financial, economic, strategic and legal power – the latter informally through loyalists appointed to independent institutions that can make the life of any future government very difficult.

Orbán is clearly sweeping every last cent out of state coffers and into his asset management vehicles (misleadingly called “foundations”) that he created once his battle in Brussels was lost and Trump lost the elections. He used his supermajority to carve the new entities into the constitution, put loyalists in charge, and then filled them with an uncounted sum of taxpayer money, assets and entitlements. He even threw entire universities into the “foundations”, derailing the discussion into a debate about private education – which it is decidedly not because these universities will still be taxpayer-funded. They are just run by these loyalist-led foundations.

Only in April 2021 EUR 4.2 billion was stuffed into these “foundations” – plus universities, agricultural land, castles, dormitories, sport venues, cultural institutions, nature reservations, holiday homes, office buildings and hotels – but the total is impossible to estimate because it happened so fast and some of the transfers were simply made secret.

The coup-like outsourcing of public assets into private hands (without any payment) was not some kind of pro-market privatization (even though it pales the post-communist privatization in comparison) but the preparation for governing from opposition and becoming an obstacle to any future government that happens to be not Orbán’s.

Even four days before the elections, another 15 billion forints (42 million euros) was sent to a foundation in an overnight decree. They didn’t even bother to mention which foundation it was sent to – only which government task it should be taken away from.

K-Monitor, an NGO researching corruption now put the non-cash assets hidden into “foundations” on an interactive map.

The map contains all the tangible gifts that went to the “foundations” (universities, agricultural land, castles, dormitories, sport venues, cultural institutions, nature reservations, holiday homes, office buildings and hotels), alongside the names of the loyalists who were put in charge, irremovable.

One thought on “Another 15 billion transferred to unnamed asset management entity 4 days before elections

  1. That’s a lot of money for a country of your size. To some extent Angela Merkel did the same. She also flushed a lot of tax payer money into dubious “foundations”, but, and it is an important ‘but’, not nearly on that scale!

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