If there’s been one message that the intellectual runts of the Hungarian opposition have concentrated on relentlessly for the past ten years, it’s their allegation that the governments of conservative Hungary are stained in corruption to their very core.
This has been, to date, their longest-running advertising campaign, and it’s been successful. Nowadays, a large proportion of people far and wide believe that the Hungarian conservatives are corrupt. It’s been stated as a fact so often that those with no political convictions have accepted it as truth. It must be stated that this claim has been asserted with very little proof. The tactic was to continually stress this so-called fact whenever possible.
And I do mean whenever possible. There were, in fact, two items that the political pygmies selected for the carpet-bombing tactics that they have employed for the past ten years. One was their claim that Fidesz was inherently corrupt, and the other was the implication, forever crowbarred into any statement whether relevant or not, that they, the opposition, were the only democratic thing on the menu.
It seems silly now, in fact it seemed silly then, too, but any time, absolutely any time an opposition MP was asked a question, they were under strict instructions to state, irrespective of the pertinence of the matter, that the population were sick to the back teeth of the rampant corruption of Orbán’s government and that they, the democratic opposition, were the only ones who could do anything about it.
That said, the continual drip-drip-drip of the tactic did appear to justify its use. Not amongst those who are politically aware, but amongst the general population who don’t follow politics in anything but the vaguest terms.
But to corruption, the chewing gum which never loses its flavour. What’s the biggest corruption scandal of late? Which is the scandal that raised most eyebrows of late?
Yes, of course, it was the corruption scandal connected to the construction of Metro line 4 in Budapest. The European Anti-Fraud office (OLAF) uncovered losses, that is, stolen funds, to the amount of HUF 167bn. That’s an awful amount of money for a metro line that is as pointless as the 7 km-long metro line 4. Based on a plan developed by the Soviets at the end of the 60s (and who exactly thought that would be a world beater?), the metro line was given the green light even though lots of people pointed out that the population density in the late 60s was in no way comparable to the population density when the construction of metro line 4 began. Putting metro stops in places where no one lives is just silly. Add to that the fact that in some places there’s now a metro station located a few hundred metres’ walk from a public transport hub, which seems to encourage nothing but laziness.
The Western media, fed information by the Hungarian liberal Left, presented the fraud case, the stealing of EUR 543 million as being connected to Orbán’s government. They relished in the fact that the OLAF report, dealing with the largest corruption scandal since Hungary joined the EU, was released in 2016.
Orbán’s government was indeed in power in 2016, but the corruption connected to metro line 4, had nothing to do with his government.
The corruption was organised and overseen by members of the Socialist-Liberal government. The worst corruption case in Hungary involving the defrauding of the EU took place under the beady, watchful eyes of the socialists and the liberals. If we want to lay the blame anywhere, it’s at the feet of Gyurcsány, Bajnai, and mayor of Budapest from 1990-2010, Demszky.
It’s of passing interest to highlight that Gyurcsány’s predecessor, the man he stabbed in the back, was Megyessy Péter, who received a large sack of money from Alstom for ‘consultancy services’. Alstom, we all remember, are the company who favoured bribery as the main means to further their business. This corruption case had nothing to do with the present Hungarian government, or Orbán, or any of his ministers. By the time the socialist and liberals had been driven out of office, the only thing left to do was to pick up the bill for the money that they’d stolen, and of course, complete the job.
That’s something that the liberals neglect to mention; they didn’t manage to finish the job, they stole the money and left. That’s the only connection to Orbán’s government, but most Western media neglect to mention this, quietly skating over the dates of the fraud, and concentrating on the money that the Hungarian government is now required to repay.
The repayment is always presented as punishment. Punishment, perhaps, but the punishment of a government which has nothing to do with the crime committed. That’s an unfair punishment at best, to then imply that it’s connected to an innocent party further compounds the crime.
And now, another case. The opposition, who won control of Budapest in the local elections in 2019 (no, no, don’t mention the fact that they say that can’t be done…that’s the script when they don’t get in!), have now attempted to outdo the last liberal mayor, Demszky in terms of corruption. In the spring, a call for proposals was awarded to a company which declared themselves up and ready for the task in hand. Of course, that was all bollocks. The company that won the tender is connected to an off-shore company. That, in itself, is a disqualifying circumstance. Further, at the supposed registered address of the company, nobody’s heard of them. There are no employees registered at the company, so nobody to fulfil the terms of the contract. The contract is to supply buses for rent to BKK, the capital city’s public transport company.
As a result the awarded company has already requested deferral…they’re not quite ready yet. And, the writing on the wall is not only coming from the pens of the right-wingers. 24.hu, an opposition media company reports that the company that won the tender appears to be a fictitious company. No employees, no buses to rent out to BKK. Therefore, no way of honouring the contract they’ve signed. As if this wasn’t enough, the awarded company is linked to the business empire of the ex-partner of socialist deputy mayor Kata Tüttő. She claims that there is not even a whiff of corruption to be smelt. That claim too, just like the idea that corruption only occurs on the side of the conservatives, stinks like the horseshit that it is.
Corruption in Hungary.
Corruption, arrogance, and stupidity rear their ugly heads.