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Left-Wing Opposition, Ruling Fidesz Clash Over Brokerage Scandal

Tamás Székely 2015.03.30.

The Socialist Party (MSZP) has demanded the release of a letter Csaba Tarsoly, chief of Quaestor brokerage, sent to Viktor Orbán, the prime minister, as well as the minutes and recording of the February 25 cabinet session. Zoltán Lukács, the party’s deputy leader, told a news conference on Friday that the letter would shed light on whether a crime had been committed and could also prove the charge of insider dealing. He insisted there was a suspicion that a crime had indeed been committed, but the job of collecting the evidence fell to the authorities. The party is waiting to see whether the police search the cabinet office and the foreign ministry with a view to seizing the letter as evidence, he added. The Socialists expect the government to release the letter, however, and to make clear the route it took in the public administration system, Lukács said.

In response ruling Fidesz has accused the opposition Socialists of attempting to avoid responsibility for the “Socialist brokerage scandal” and said “Socialist politicians allowed financial corruption to strive untroubled for decades.” The Socialists’ board called on the party’s parliamentary group earlier to make every effort to ensure that people get compensation for the damages they suffered in the Quaestor scandal. The Fidesz group’s press department said in a statement that the Socialist board should instead explain “why Socialist politicians turned a blind eye on financial corruption for decades, why they allowed brokers near their government and what their people are doing in the network of brokerages.” They added that parliament is to vote on Tuesday about a Fidesz proposal that “will enable seizing the assets of all fraudsters’ companies and even their personal assets already during the investigation phase.” This will be followed by the introduction of new regulations for investment services and the market of brokerages will be cleared up, they said.

Meanwhile opposition LMP said it would submit a motion under which the assets of senior officials could be frozen to compensate Quaestor clients if those officials had been aware of the company’s impending bankruptcy but failed to alert the authorities. András Schiffer, co-leader of green LMP, told a press conference that if PM Viktor Orbán had known that Quaestor was about to collapse and failed to pass that information onto the financial watchdog and the police, he failed to fulfil his obligation and he should also be responsible with his personal assets. LMP will submit its bill as an amendment to a proposal by the ruling parties, expected to be discussed in Parliament on Monday, which seeks to freeze the assets of business leaders when economic crimes are suspected.

via photo: Zsolt Szigetváry – MTI