A month ago, the Hungarian public was shaken by the possibility that the left-wing leadership of Budapest planned the sale of the heritage-listed City Hall building. The leadership of the capital denied the news surrounding the sale from the beginning. Gergely Karácsony, mayor of Budapest, clearly stated that “no decision has been made on the sale of the property”. However, as a result of the documents and audio recordings that were later made public and already contained specifics, the city administration was eventually forced to publish its earlier study, which proved that the idea of the possibility of selling the City Hall was indeed considered by the decision-makers. In response to the developments, the mayor said that regardless of the development of the put option, no one had been authorised by the leadership of the capital to begin negotiations. However, it was later revealed that negotiations on the sale of the City Hall could still take place, without any substantial consequences. Unauthorised negotiations on the sale of one of the most valuable properties of the Municipality of Budapest resulted only in a single disciplinary measure in writing.
Beyond the fact that the City Hall case clearly shows that the idea of selling out national assets is still an integral part of left-wing politics, the published materials also referred to a multi-level mechanism with a network of real estate sales in the capital, based on a commission system, which might be organised between left-wing decision-makers and business circles linked to them. While the police are currently prosecuting several alleged criminal offences (e.g., racketeering, fraud, bribery, accepting bribes, abuse of power, and misappropriation) regarding the case, NGOs allegedly set up to create a corruption-free public life are still not carrying out investigations. Therefore, the extent should be briefly reviewed to which these NGOs, hiding behind the slogan of impartiality and trying to link the civic-national side with corruption, have acted in connection with previous cases of corruption and allegations of corruption related to the left.
|Crime committed/ suspected
|Damage or property damage caused/ suspected
|Abuse of power, misappropriation (final judgment)
|Unnecessary contracts have caused hundreds of millions in damage to BKV.
|An attempt at abuse of power causing a particularly significant financial disadvantage (final judgment)
|If the act had been completed, the Hungarian state would have suffered a financial loss of HUF 1,227,513,076.
|Suspicion of engaging in unauthorised financial activity, misappropriation, and foreclosure fraud
|Presumably, the company possibly provided unauthorised loans of HUF 390.8 million.
|Suspicion of bankruptcy offence
|Nearly HUF 6.5 billion of creditors’ claims were filed during the liquidation proceedings.
|Suspicion of fraud causing a particularly significant financial disadvantage and misappropriation causing a particularly significant financial disadvantage
|Presumably, the Hungarian State possibly suffered tens of millions of euros in damage as a result of the transaction.
The Sukoró case erupted over disadvantageous land exchange contracts related to the planned casino and tourism investment in Sukoró. The final judgment of the Curia put an end to the protracted asset management scandal, which found two former leaders of Magyar Nemzeti Vagyonkezelő Zrt. guilty of misappropriation.
The former national airline of Hungary, Malév, was sold to a Russian company by the Állami Privatizációs és Vagyonkezelő Zrt. for only HUF 200 million during the Gyurcsány government, and the airline was repurchased by the Bajnai government for HUF 25 billion. The irrational business from national strategic and economic point of view was surrounded by several suspicious circumstances that possibly contributed to the subsequent bankruptcy of the national company.
Szeviép Zrt., a construction company provided with significant orders by the left-wing local government in Szeged, allegedly committed bankruptcy offence with loans granted in a manner contrary to the requirements of rational management, as a result of which nearly 500 small enterprises were possibly damaged, and several billions of forints possibly disappeared.
The consortium set up by Altus Befektetési Zrt., which belong to the Gyurcsány family, received an EU grant of EUR 5 million, of which Altus Portfolio Kft., according to allegations, possibly provided unauthorised loans for Demokratikus Koalíció and Humán Operátor, which can be linked to Csaba Czeglédy. Regarding the latter, foreclosure fraud was also possibly committed.
Severance pay scandals can be dated to the left-wing governance, when senior officials of state-owned companies allegedly received unjustified severance payment and an amount of severance payment at an undue level, causing serious harm to companies with public service mission. Later, the investigation of the cases, in addition to severance pay, also revealed other contractual abuses, in which criminal proceedings were initiated. The case, which became known as the BKV lawsuit, was finally closed by a final judgment of the Szeged Regional Court of Appeal, which ruled that the accused who were found guilty were involved in concluding contracts that were unnecessary for BKV. In doing so, various companies were provided with funds in a way that caused hundreds of millions in damage to BKV. The primary defendant, Miklós Hagyó, a former socialist deputy mayor of Budapest, was found guilty of abuse of power and misappropriation conducted as an instigator and was given 1 year 6 months suspended prison sentence.
These are just some of the corruption and allegations of corruption cases related to the left, in which they would have had plenty to investigate, yet the NGOs operating in Hungary and demanding consistent prosecution of corruption, have made no or only moderate response. The real reason for the double standards applied is that the activities of these groups are supported with huge sums by foreign organisations such as the Open Society Foundations founded by George Soros. Consequently, these foreign-funded organisations cannot be objectively considered independent. In fact, their aim is not to fight corruption, but to weaken civic-national governance and interfere into domestic elections by their one-sided activities, similar to recent intervention attempts, such as the suspension of the recovery funds on political basis, the establishment of left-wing fact-checking centres, or the Commission’s recent package of proposals.
These foreign-organised and/or funded methods had their own specific tools in the past, but it is important to recognise that intervention efforts have recently become a central element of the international left-wing network strategy and have increased significantly in the run-up to the 2022 parliamentary elections.
Recently, evidence has been mounting that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) covering a significant part of their activities from foreign sources intend to gain an ever-increasing influence in the domestic political arena, overshadowing their former, purely human rights function. Similar entities in the United States are treated as foreign agent organizations, and their activity is closely monitored and subject to registration. Századvég Foundation is committed to national sovereignty, legal certainty and transparency. Therefore, in a monitoring system called NGO-radar, it continuously analyses the operation of the relevant organizations in Hungary.