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Fidesz Majority in 5th District Refuse to Discuss ‘Suspicious’ Local Property Dealings

Hungary Today 2022.02.12.

Proposals submitted by the opposition in connection with the Völner-Schadl case’s downtown associations, were all refused to be put on the agenda by the Fidesz majority in the 5th district. The opposition wished to investigate György Schadl’s “suspicious” property purchases in the district. The Budapest Assembly’s investigation on the matter is also underway.

Press reports recently revealed that in the last five years, the President of the Hungarian Court Bailiffs Chamber (MBVK), György Schadl, who is the key figure in the recently revealed corruption case of former deputy justice minister Pál Völner (Fidesz), bought several properties across Hungary.

The Budapest opposition wishes to investigate Schadl’s purchases, as he may have bought several municipal properties in the 5th (Fidesz-led) and 7th (led by Fidesz until October, 2019) districts “amid suspicious circumstances.” Besides an examination launched in the opposition-led Budapest Assembly, the local opposition wished to kick-start an inquiry in the Fidesz-led 5th district, too.

Fidesz votes down inquiry in the 5th district

In regard to the 5th district, since György Schadl obtained at least two downtown properties formerly owned by the municipality in various ways. They believe that a review of the district’s legislation on property sales would be “very justified,” according to the opposition alliance’s local group leader.

Alex Gábor Kovács said that a second feature is that in case of Schadl’s conviction, the properties under his name in the district could be subject to enforcement, hence their suggestion for the district to set up a fund out of which these properties could be bought back later.

In a third point of the proposal, the opposition wanted the district to provide the Budapest Assembly’s inquiry with the relevant documents.

Our proposals have not even been put on the agenda by the Fidesz majority, which is a clear indication that the 5th district’s administration still wants to keep the [Budapest] downtown aspects of the Völner-Schadl scandal in the dark. Why?”

Fidesz points to City Hall case

Fidesz insists the opposition only wants to divert attention from the City Hall case (in which an investigative committee was set up by a Fidesz initiative, but established that no wrongdoing occurred). Back in January, Szentgyörgyvölgyi also argued that all the property sales were lawful and dealt properly.

The work of the Budapest’s Assembly’s Committee begins on Thursday in a bid to discover Schadl’s purchases of valuable municipal properties in the 5th and 7th districts. Apart from the corruption case’s local connections, Gergely Karácsony regularly draws the parallel that while Fidesz has brought accusations against him for the sale of City Hall (which had only been an option for a little while), local Fidesz has regularly been selling off several valuable properties in the downtown area.

Fidesz announced their refusal to participate in the newly-established committee’s work and won’t delegate any members into the group.

The opposition, on the other hand, wants to hear all the politicians involved in the 5th and 7th districts property sales, including former and incumbent mayors, and also cabinet chief Antal Rogán who previously led the 5th district, and who regularly comes under corruption allegations for links between Schadl, Völner, and Rogán’s inner circle.

featured image: 5th district mayor Szentgyörgyvölgyi; via Attila Kovács/MTI

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