A left-wing commentator believes that it would be extremely difficult to cover up the latest corruption scandal probably involving a Fidesz MP.
A group of people in eastern Hungary who applied for European funds to develop a network of ‘welfare co-operatives’ are under investigation by the National Tax Authority for corruption, 168 óra reported. They were offered help by a man whom they called in their tapped phone conversation ‘Voldemort’ (the ‘Dark Lord’ in J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter) and in their testimonies they identified Fidesz MP Roland Mengyi as being their ‘Voldemort’. As a first step, ‘Voldemort’ suggested they should ‘only’ apply for 200 million Forints in order to set up the network (which already existed). He demanded 50 + 40 per cent of the grant plus 5 million Forints in advance. The latter sum was paid to a go-between and has been confiscated by the authorities. Mr Mengyi said he had nothing to do with the matter. The project was halted as the Minister of Human Resources was notified by the Tax Authority. The Deputy State Secretary in charge of EU projects was dismissed. Opposition parties accuse the highest levels of government of being privy to such machinations. The office of the Prime Minister said the oft criticised new system of EU project applications was introduced precisely in order to put an end to such practices.
In Népszabadság, Ervin Tamás thinks that after the relevant documents of the inquiry were leaked to the press, it would be extremely difficult to ‘quickly seal the bottle full of dirt’. The five million Forint bribe on which the investigation is centred, however, is just ‘the advance payment’ for something much bigger, he suspects. (In fact, the 200 co-operatives could have applied for up to 2 billion Forints, had the project not been halted by the Ministry of Human Resources). Nor does Tamás exclude the possibility that the culprits could count on the connivance of high ranking officials. He thinks the case should be considered as an alarm call, because it proves that as much as 90 per cent of a Union grant may be diverted from the original project.