Victor Orban

Corruption in the Union: Orban’s ‘Cash Register’

by Jane Chelliah

Fresh allegations have emerged that EU Structural Funds worth billions of Euros have been awarded to friends and family of Victor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary. The alarm has been raised by the EU’s anti-fraud office, Olaf, which says it has found “serious irregularities” over EU contracts. Orban’s circle are accused of using the EU as a ‘cash register’.
The charges of corruption fit well with Orban’s cynical, right-radical politics. The PM is a vociferous right-wing critic of the EU. He has compared it to the Soviet Union, and he is currently running a ‘Stop Brussels’ campaign.
Yet they are also somewhat ironic, given Hungary’s lucrative position inside the EU. Hungary remains one of the largest per capita recipients of EU’s economic development funds. Hungary is due to receive 25bn Euros over a 7-year period to 2021. However, a lack of an open competition process is cited which has resulted in sole bids being advanced by Orban’s family and allies. Most notably, his son-in- law, Istvan Tiborcz, won a contract to supply street lamps but these were charged at above market prices according to analysis carried out.
The MEP who leads the European Parliament’s budgetary control committee, Ingeborg Grassie, spoke of a new type of “semi legal” irregularity emerging whereby oligarchs become politicians and benefit at the same time from EU and national money for their companies.
DiEM25 has consistently campaigned for EU financial reform. These new charges against Orban suggest even more urgency to these reforms – not only to stanch out corruption, but also to strike at the root of Europe’s radical right politics in the process.
 

Jane is a member of our London DSC and blogs at www.ambitiousmamas.co.uk on feminism, politics and race. You can also follow her on Twitter.

 
Photo: THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images
 

Do you want to be informed of DiEM25's actions? Sign up here

Last Month in DiEM25: July 2020

Now, more than ever, we need a strong, capable movement to push ahead our common-sense agenda for Europe and its people.

Read more
MeRA25 is reorganising and strengthening: Electing its 1st Central Committee!

After the ratification of its new Statutes by all DiEM25 members, MeRA25 now needs to elect the new organs that will govern it.

Read more
News from Turkey: Hagia Sophia, COVID-19 and violence against women

The Provisional National Collective in Turkey's first issue of a monthly review on Turkey’s social, economic, and cultural state of affairs.

Read more
Against the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States: Our right to know is his right to publish

The exhibition in Leipzig is drawing the public's attention to the continued violation of the human rights of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Read more