Hungarian businessman Lajos Simicska, one-time friend and today’s enemy of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, has been named 19th among Europe’s top 28 influential figures in 2018 by news portal politico.eu.
Every year, Politico showcases its picks for the 28 most influential leaders in Europe. As there are, at least for now, 28 members of the European Union, the list showcases one power player from each country. In 2016, Hungary’s representative on the list was Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, followed next year by his main rival abroad, American-Hungarian billionaire George Soros. This time, Orbán’s main enemy in Hungary comes next.
As Hungary prepares for a national election next spring, Simicska has thrown his weight behind the far-right Jobbik party, Fidesz’s fiercest competitor.
According to Politico, Lajos Simicska has all the resources and information to play a decisive role in next year’s Hungarian elections. Having established “the political and economic machine” underpinning Orbán’s power, Simicska has now turned against his “teenage friend”. The news portal suggests that Simicska may “deploy his knowledge of Fidesz’s inner workings and the prime minister’s private life.” Furthermore, the oligarch’s “media outlets have been hammering” at Orbán’s government, providing support for the far right Jobbik party.
If Orbán wins, all eyes will be on Simicska. He will have to make a decision: keep fighting the government or cut his losses and sell his media outlets. If he bows to pressure, it could spell the end of Hungary’s most significant critical press, freeing Orbán to further consolidate power.
Click on the picture above to read the original article about Lajos Simicska on Politico!
via politico.eu; pictures: Jaya Nicely – politico.eu