Lőrinc Mészáros became richest Hungarian, according to latest top 100 listing regularly formed by a team led by Péter Szakonyi. The fortune of a childhood friend of the Prime Minister has grown by some HUF 185 billion (€ 535 million) over the past year, overtaking the bank’s OTP chief Sándor Csányi, who has a financial position high since 2011. The Prime Minister and the opposition commented on the results.
According to the creators ‘estimates, Lőrinc Mészáros’ fortune currently stands at 455 billion HUF (1.3 billion euros), while Sándor Csányi is “behind” with 420 billion HUF (1.2 billion euros). ‘euros). Docler Group owner György Gattyán, who amassed his fortune through his adult content streaming site, LiveJasmin, is third with 305 billion HUF (883 million EUR).
The list also revealed that the ten richest Hungarians hold around 2,506 billion HUF (7.3 billion euros) in assets, up 669 billion HUF than a year earlier.
Mészáros, a gas engineer by profession, has become Hungary’s richest man over the past eleven years. Its rapid rise, in large part thanks to the large number of state and European contracts won by its companies, naturally sparked controversy and criticism with a lot of favoritism and corruption as a backdrop. Moreover, speculation goes so far as to suggest that his companies are acting as an informal slush fund for the Prime Minister. The list (and the emergence of Mészáros) came up once again during the recent government press briefing, surprisingly maintained by the Prime Minister himself.
Orbán regularly refuses to comment on both his family’s economic success (his son-in-law István Tiborcz is 37th on the list) and that of Mészáros’ businesses, saying politics and business should be kept separate and that he and the government don’t have no business skills. This time he replied in the same vein, saying that the rich in Hungary must abide by two principles: “All the rules must be followed and all taxes must be paid,” adding that more income leads to more taxes, which is good for the budget. In a general reflection on the list, Orbán also said that of the 100 richest Hungarians, 80 still come from the left, which means that “… we are still far from the desirable balance”.
He also explained that unlike the left (naming former liberal left-wing prime ministers Gordon Bajnai, Ferenc Gyurcsány and Péter Medgyessy who are all from the business world), right-wing politicians seek to steer clear of business. .
The opposition slams Orbán and Mészáros
Mészáros’ first-place status and further enrichment, along with Orbán’s comments, angered the opposition. “Viktor Orbán’s fortune…, or rather that of Lőrinc Mészáros, increased by HUF 185 billion during the crisis (…) There is no more obvious example of the government’s management of the economic crisis, it is when 1% of the privileged get richer at the expense of the rest of the 99 … “, commented the mayor of Budapest. In addition to highlighting several cases where the government’s crisis management has failed, according to him, Gergely Karacsony insists that Orbán is competent to answer the question, because it was his government which provided three quarters of the funds for the economic protection of its own clients, most of which went to the interests of Mészáros.
Jobbik leader and PM candidate, Pierre Jakab, referring to the recently announced national consultations, said that “Rather, people should be asked if they think Orbán has anything to do with the immeasurable enrichment of his own family and Mészáros, and if the stolen money will go to those who worked for him.Well, the mafia boss is no longer consulting nationally on this matter because he knows the answer.And we know it.That’s why he will pay for everything!
In reaction to the report, DK deputy parliamentary group leader, Gergely Arató says, “We all know what this means: [Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán became the richest Hungarian thanks to him, ”he said.
As the honest majority tried to cope with the coronavirus and the crisis that followed, “… the few of Fidesz, including the Prime Minister, shoveled hundreds of billions of public assets out of the country “, said Arató, adding that this money would be taken back if a new government takes office in 2022.
If the opposition alliance wins the 2022 elections, a “state of emergency against corruption” would be declared and the assets of the “Fidesz oligarchs” frozen, Klara dobrev, DK, declared the prime minister-candidate. Dobrev is committed to setting up an independent anti-corruption prosecutor’s office and a special police force to investigate corruption cases. In addition, a government formed by the current opposition would like Hungary to join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.
No surprise: Orbán remains Hungary’s most influential leader
The same team also brought together 50 of Hungary’s most influential personalities as well as the rich list (subjectively compiled by 11 political analysts). A little less surprisingly, this year’s top ten is made up almost entirely of government and Fidesz politicians or businessmen close to government circles:
Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Sándor Csányi aforementioned
The aforementioned Lőrinc Mészáros
Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér
Minister Antal Rogán
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó
György Matolcsy, head of the National Bank (MNB)
István Garancsi, businessman ally of Orbán
Minister of Finance Mihály Varga
Gábor Kubatov, director of the Fidesz party and president of Ferencváros
In addition, the mayor of Budapest Karácsony (of the opposition Párbeszéd) is the 22nd, while the former prime minister and head of DK Ferenc Gyurcsány is the 27th. Gyurcsány’s wife, MEP and DK party candidate, Klára Dobrev is 37th.
featured image: PM Orbán (left) and Lőrinc Mészáros; via Szilárd Koszticsák / MTI