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Karácsony accused of accepting foreign electoral donations

June 29th, 2023

A pro-government columnist ridicules the explanations of the Mayor of Budapest about the donations his organisation received in foreign currencies in the runup to last year’s general elections.

Parliament has declassified a report by the state intelligence agency, the National Information Centre about a series of Pound Sterling and Euro donations totalling 500 million Forints which Karácsony’s electoral organisation called 99 received in 2021 to support his bid to become the opposition candidate for the post of Prime Minister. In the first such report on ‘Foreign Support for Opposition Electoral Campaigns’, declassified in November last year, the Information Centre wrote that the movement of top opposition candidate Péter Márki-Zay received a total of 3 billion Forints from a US foundation. A second similar document, declassified in January this year gave a detailed picture of the various organisations where the donations ended up.

In Magyar Nemzet, Tamás Pilhál pokes fun at Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony who said that the 500 million came from micro-donations from individual citizens who placed their contributions into closed fund-raising boxes in various sites throughout the country. In a sarcastic remark, he finds it difficult to believe that tens of thousands of Hungarian citizens happened to contribute to Karácsony’s campaign in two foreign currencies. This must have been a case of unacceptable foreign interference in Hungary’s domestic affairs which ‘cannot remain without consequences’, he adds.

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