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Non-prominent Hungarian politicians traced in the Panama Papers

April 6th, 2016

As the names of two former MPs (one Socialist and one Fidesz) have surfaced in the Panama Papers, Népszabadság suspects that murky off-shore deals are common practice in Hungary’s leading circles, while 444 describes one case in detail.

In Népszabadság, Gábor G. Varga remarks that the government side gave up excoriating “offshore-knights” years ago, although this had been one of Fidesz’s main themes in the electoral campaign before its landslide victory in 2010. He doesn’t mention Zsolt Horváth, the former Fidesz MP, implicated in the scandal by name, but remarks that the Minister of National Development has “a network of international companies”. (As a lawyer before his appointment, he set up offshore enterprises for his clients). Without specifying which leading politicians he has in mind, Varga concludes that “the Big Boys of politics are well versed in the offshore business, which shows that by now they are among the big players”.

In 444, András Pethő, the Hungarian journalist involved in the several hundred strong international team that processed the Panama files, describes how a Socialist politician was involved in the scandal. In the “Panama Leak” documents, he found the name of a Hungarian teacher, known only to her close acquaintances, who turned out to be the wife of a former prominent MSZP politician. (Mr László Boldvai who used to serve as the party’s treasurer is still a regional council member in Nógrád County and chaired the local MSZP organisation until Tuesday when he suspended his membership in the MSZP, in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal.) The Panamanian company was used to transfer amounts adding up to somewhat less than 1 million USD from 2012 to 2013. Pethő tried to ask Mr and Mrs Boldvai for an explanation but got no reply.


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