Just like last year, the asset declarations of the Hungarian politicians were published on February 1st. With the help of the documents, we can find out how much wealth the political actors of Hungary considered acceptable to declare. All politicians are obliged to submit a declaration, from the President, the members of Parliament and the government, and even the Prime Minister. Let’s see how much asset growth (or loss) Hungarian politicians have officially announced for 2021, just a few months before the April parliamentary elections.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán does not have any savings
The latest asset declaration of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also became available at midnight.
According to the document, the prime minister has no car, no high-value valuables, no business interests, no new real estate, and no savings. And although he does not have any savings, he has managed to completely repay his loan.
He reported the same properties as in previous years: a house in Budapest that he owns one-half of and bought in 2002, and a house in Felcsút that he and his wife purchased in 2013.
The most significant change compared to his previous asset declaration is that the PM declared that he has fully repaid the 20 million forint mortgage he and his wife took out in 2002.
Last year, Viktor Orbán still had HUF 882,110 unsettled debt, which by now he seems to have completely repaid.
President János Áder was able to save some money
János Áder’s savings increased in the last year of his presidency, according to his asset declaration published on the head of state’s website. Áder has about six million forints (about 17,000 euros) more in forint savings than last year and six thousand euros more in life insurance than last year,
The President was also able to reduce his housing loan by four million forints in only one year, of which he still has 37 million forints left to pay. Although the politician will move out of his residence in the Sándor Palace later this year, he will continue to receive 3.5 million forints gross monthly (about EUR 9,800, his current salary as head of state) for the rest of his life. In addition, he will also have lifelong access to the use of a private car, two employees, and medical care.
House Speaker László Kövér repaid debts
The Speaker of the Parliament was able to set aside part of his salary. Last year he had 3 million forints (8,440 euros) in his account; currently, it is already at 5 million forints. Meanwhile, he has paid back about 1 million forints of the 10 million forints debt he has.
House Speaker László Kövér. Photo: Tamás Kovács/MTI
Central bank chief György Matolcsy has no savings despite 5 million monthly salary
As a lecturer and university exam proctor, György Matolcsy has extra income (HUF 760,000 per month/ 2,150 euros) on top of his HUF 5 million salary. Matolcsy has no savings and no “real estate empire” either: his asset declaration only lists a family house in Balatonakarattya that he inherited in 1985.
State Secretary for International Communication and relations live quite modestly
State Secretary Zoltán Kovács, similar to the Prime Minister, lives modestly: apart from his 14 million forints (about EUR 40,000) in savings, he does not own a car or real estate, and has no valuable assets. In addition to his government salary, he receives half a million forints a month for publishing the hunting magazine Nimród.
Head of Orbán’s cabinet office earns a lot thanks to his invention but still has small savings
Although the savings of Antal Rogán, the head of the prime minister’s cabinet office, has shrunk by 200 million forints, his invention earned him a good sum this year, as he received 408 million forints last year for his patent. Minister Rogán had previously applied for a patent for a biometric signature (software capable of recording the dynamics of a handwritten signature), which is now used by several public and private companies. His invention, which some doubt is actually his or is even truly groundbreaking, is now bringing in hundreds of millions of forints. He has not bought any new property this year, and there is still no house or apartment in the minister’s name. According to his declaration, he owns only meadows, fields, and forests inherited from his family. Although his savings have decreased, he still has over 616 million forints. He owes HUF 17.9 million to private individuals after having repaid HUF 300,000 last year.
Head of the Prime Minister’s Office Gulyás: no significant changes in his declaration
The assets of Gergely Gulyás have not changed significantly compared to previous years. According to his declaration, he owns two apartments in Budapest’s 9th District. He still owes 120,174 Swiss francs to a credit institution, but has already settled a debt of 2 million forints he had last year. The minister currently has 7 million 600,000 forints in his bank account.
Justice Varga has a master violin from 1993
Judit Varga has depleted her financial savings. According to the latest declaration of assets of the Minister of Justice, unlike in 2020, she no longer has any savings. After an earlier repayment of 93 million forints, Judit Varga had 2 million forints and 6,000 euros in cash, and 3.2 million forints and 4,800 euros in savings. There is no trace of that today. A Volvo car bought in 2018, a 1993 master violin, and a Yamaha piano bought in 2017 are still listed in Varga’s declaration of assets, as are her properties in Buda and Balatonhenye.
Fidesz’s President candidate Katalin Novák owns lots of properties
Novák owns half of a 240-square-meter detached house and half of a 90-square-meter apartment building in Budapest’s District XI. She also owns a 56-square-meter apartment in District XI and 67, 166, and 174-square-meter apartments in Szeged. Novák also owns a garage and a vacation home in Balatonlelle. She has 29 million forints (81,600 euros) in savings in the bank, three million more than last year. Novák has an additional monthly income of 225,000 forints (630 euros) from renting out several properties.
State secretary Völner suspected of bribery became poorer
According to his latest asset declaration, Pál Völner became poorer in the previous year, although the prosecutor’s office suspects the Fidesz politician of having received 83 million forints in bribes over the past few years. Last year, he had 8.5 million forints in savings in the bank and 3.5 million in cash. In his current asset declaration, however, Völner no longer has any savings, and his cash holdings have also been reduced to 2 million. In addition, the politician is a 50 percent owner of a family house in Nyergesújfalu.
Foreign Minister Szijjártó still owes his parents
Péter Szijjártó has 10 million forints more in his bank account compared to last year, but the foreign minister still has not repaid the 30 million forint loan he received from his parents years ago when he bought his house.
Foreign Minister Szijjártó. Photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI
Interior Minister Pintér extremely wealthy
Interior Minister Sándor Pintér probably owns the most real estate: he has 21 properties. He still has the Wartburg he inherited in 1995. In his declaration this year, he also listed a few million forints in savings and investment securities. In addition, Pintér is still owed 500 million forints for the companies he sold in 2013. In addition, he has made numerous loans amounting to 605 million forints (EUR 1.7 million) to his family and friends.
Opposition politicians: Gyurcsány supported his party with millions, Péter Márki-Zay owns a decent library
The opposition parties’ joint candidate for prime minister, Péter Márki-Zay, is a 50% co-owner of a 1,550 square meter plot of land with a 297 square meter house in Hódmezővásárhely. With outbuildings, the total built-up area is 590 square meters. He also owns a library with 2,300 volumes estimated at 1.2 million forints, and a collection of 3,240 coins worth 1.4 million forints.
The mayor of Hódmezővásárhely has saved 8.5 million forints in a voluntary pension fund, 442,000 forints in pension insurance, and 1.7 million forints in savings accounts. In addition to the savings, he owes 20 million forints in debts to financial institutions.
Although the pro-government media has reported a lot about the president of Jobbik’s supposed move to Budapest to live with his alleged girlfriend, according to his asset declaration, Péter Jakab still lives in Miskolc in a 106-square-meter house with his wife and three children. The politician still owns half of the house he bought with his wife in 2017. Since 2018, he has also indicated a sublet in Budapest, but none of his declarations show how much it costs.
DK President and former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány’s declaration of assets still lists his properties in Pápa and Kötcse. The market value of his securities savings has increased to 928 million forints. His claim for a ‘down payment and deposit for house purchase’ amounts to 348 million forints (about EUR 980,000), including a loan of 42 million forints. Gyurcsány’s securities savings have increased by more than one hundred million forints: HUF 928,666,063 (EUR 2,612,000) in his latest declaration of assets.
Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI
The former prime minister has a bank loan of 60 million forints (about 17,000 euros) and a securities-backed loan of 288 million forints. Other disclosures include non-repayable grants of 47 million forints (EUR 132,000) and a loan of 25 million forints to his party, the Democratic Coalition.
According to his latest asset declaration, MP Péter Ungár, who is also the member of green party LMP’s presidency, received a painting as a gift from István Zámbó last year, and his bank balance has decreased by 6 million forints, but he still has a claim of 99 million forints. Péter Ungár has a 17 percent stake in Pió-21 Kft. and still owns 90 percent of Azonnali Média Kft., which publishes news site Azonnali.hu, and 45 percent of Kő a Mezőn Nonprofit Kft.
Borbély Ildikó Bangóné, who was expelled from the socialist party (MSZP) because of her diploma scandal, listed only one asset in her statement: a Toyota Avensis purchased in 2017. She has no savings, no cash, no loan, no debts, and no real estate.
For years, anti-corruption experts have questioned the validity of most asset declarations. Based on the fact that the politicians’ salaries highly exceed Hungarian monthly wages, they find it hard to believe that people earning 1-5 million forints a month have no significant savings – while their family members are often very wealthy.
Featured photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI