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National Bank foundations make their accounts public

April 26th, 2016

As the National Bank’s foundations publish their expenditure reports, the leading left-wing daily accuses the National Bank leadership and the government of the “naked theft” of public funds.

The budgets of the foundations set up by the National Bank have been published, after the amended National Bank Act which attempted to shield them from public scrutiny (see BudaPost April 4), was abolished by the Constitutional Court. The left-wing parties accuse the foundations of offering lucrative contracts to pro-government entrepreneurs. 

In two successive front page editorials and lead articles, Népszabadság accuses the National Bank leadership of misappropriation of public funds and the government of assisting them by trying to amend the National Bank law and hiding the foundations’ expenditures from the public. The leading-left wing daily says that the spending reports show that the National Bank used its funds to finance the governing party’s hinterland. If they can get away with what Népszabadság calls “naked theft”, there is no hope in Hungary, and the best one can do is to pack up and leave the country.

Gergely Gulyás, a leading Fidesz MP told the press on Sunday that one of the main beneficiaries is VS webmagazine, a left-liberal news outlet. He acknowledged that it was a mistake on the part of Parliament to protect the activities of the foundations from the public, but as a result of the amendment to be passed on Tuesday, the activities of the foundations set up by the National Bank will be open to scrutiny by the Court of Auditors.

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