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State Secretary Völner’s Asset Declaration: Modest Life, Little Savings

Ábrahám Vass 2021.12.08.

Although Pál Völner earned roughly six times the Hungarian average salary, his assets appear to have stagnated in the past decade, according to his asset declaration. While his cash grew somewhat, he has no car at the moment, and sold one of his properties, too. The companies belonging to his close family, are however, doing quite well.

As we previously reported, deputy justice minister Pál Völner resigned from his post, as he is accused of having illegally received regular payments of HUF 2-5 million (EUR 5,500-13,700) from the president of the branch of bailiffs over a sustained period of time.

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Deputy Justice Minister Völner Suspected of Bribery

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After the suspicion of bribery, some Hungarian outlets checked the Fidesz politician’s asset declarations.

Völner’s salary as state secretary amounted to HUF 1.3 million (EUR 3,538) gross per month which was added to a further HUF 1.2 million (EUR 3,266) he received as a representative in the Hungarian Parliament.

This HUF 2.5 million (EUR 6,803) gross income comes to almost six times the average gross salary in Hungary, which was HUF 428,100 (EUR 1,165) in September, 2021, according to the Central Statistical Office (KSH). 

According to his asset declaration, despite his outstanding legal income, he has not gotten wealthy. As of now, he has around HUF 13-14 million (EUR 35-38,000) in cash, and co-owns a property in Nyergesújfalu, along with a law firm registered there. In comparison to 2011, he doesn’t have his property in Győr anymore, while his savings only doubled. He already owned half of the aforementioned Nyergesújfalu property. In the decade between these asset declarations, he had a car (in 2016), but he doesn’t own a vehicle at the moment.

The companies owned by his family, however, are doing quite well, with the firms’ ascension coinciding with the time of his appointment to a high rank (he was first appointed to state secretary in 2010 when Fidesz made a landslide victory for the first time), according to leftist daily Népszava‘s report.

Real estate company Tagba Kft., that officially belongs to his wife and son, was founded in 2015, quickly achieving a turnover of hundreds of millions of forints, while its assets have grown to nearly a billion, of which in cash alone amounts to HUF 552 million (EUR 1.5 million).

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The Völner family has also entered the shipping market lately. In 2016, Völner was the one to replace a former KDNP politician as the president of the Hungarian Shipping Federation (MAHOSZ). And since 2017, Tagba Kft. has a stake in Mahartlog Port Ltd. in Nyergesújfalu, where one of the managers is the former state secretary’s son. Between 2010 and 2014 Völner had been working as the State Secretary for Infrastructure in the Ministry of National Development, where shipping belonged to his portfolio.

featured image via Attila Kovács/MTI