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Fidesz’s candidate for president, the Prime Minister’s daughter and a pro-Fidesz historian are Hungary’s most influential women in public life, according to Forbes‘ recently-released list. In addition, two of Viktor Orbán’s family members are also in the top 10, besides three important politicians of the opposition.

Forbes lists Hungary’s most influential women in four major categories: business, media, public life, and culture. You can see the full list here. Here, we emphasized the public life category.

We couldn’t only deal with specifics like position and revenue, we had to look behind the scenes in each case to put together and order the mix of knowledge, connections, momentum, politics, and money that we call influence,Forbes writes on their methods and principles.

Public life: Seven Fidesz or Orbán-linked personalities, three opposition politicians

  1. Former family Minister Katalin Novák, who has been recently nominated for president. Given the ruling forces’ two-thirds majority, it is likely that she will become Hungary’s next president.
  2. The eldest daughter of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Ráhel Orbán is also the wife of István Tiborcz, who has been appearing each year on the various rich lists. Ráhel Orbán is also said to have an increasing influence in the tourism sector, and she recently established her own company engaged in the sale of luxury baby cloths and toys.                                                                 
    Two Companies Involved in Suspicious Public Projects Dissolved
    Two Companies Involved in Suspicious Public Projects Dissolved

    The first one is the PM's son-in-law former company, Elios, which had been involved in a streetlamp project, in which the European Anti-Fraud Office smelled corruption.Continue reading

  3. Pro-Fidesz historian, opinion leader, and businesswoman Mária Schmidt, who also leads Budapest’s House of Terror Museum.
  4. Incumbent Justice Minister Judit Varga.
  5. The highest-ranked non-Fidesz or Orbán-linked person in this category is Democratic Coalition (DK) MEP Klára Dobrev, the wife of former Prime Minister and DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány. She narrowly missed becoming the united opposition’s PM candidate.
  6. Viktor Orbán’s wife Anikó Lévai, who is also the Ecumenical Relief Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador.
  7. Incumbent minister without portfolio for managing national wealth, Andrea Mager.
  8. Centrist-liberal opposition party Momentum’s president and MEP Anna Donáth.
  9. Budapest deputy mayor for city operations, Kata Tüttő (MSZP).
  10. Fanny Kaminski, who is in charge of managing the Prime Minister’s social media presence and activity.

Other curious figures

  • Beatrix Mészáros, the former wife of Orbán’s childhood friend Lőrinc Mészáros (who has become Hungary’s richest person in the last 12 years) is third in the business category. She is the deputy CEO for subsidiaries of Magyar Bankholding, in addition to a number of other leading roles in companies and organizations linked to her former husband.

Lőrinc Mészáros Declared Richest Hungarian Generating Harsh Reaction from Opposition
Lőrinc Mészáros Declared Richest Hungarian Generating Harsh Reaction from Opposition

The Prime Minister's fast-emerging, childhood friend's wealth has increased by some HUF 185 billion (EUR 535 million) in the last year.Continue reading

  • The new wife of Mészáros, Andrea Várkonyi, has made the list too, claiming 10th place in the media category, although she was a popular media personality well before her marriage, which was held in September, 2021.
  • In the same category, Erika Kálmán, recently appointed CEO of Mediaworks, an umbrella company overseeing several pro-government media outlets, made it to second place right after her appointment.

featured image via Balázs Mohai/MTI

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