The Hungarian parliament’s Fidesz-controlled justice committee blocked an attempt today by opposition MPs to create a special investigative committee to look into a recent string of brokerage scandals involving the loss of some HUF 205 billion (USD 760 million), or roughly 1 percent of Hungary’s GDP.
Hungary’s state-run media reports the committee rejected the proposal because there are currently criminal investigations taking place in connection with the brokerage scandals.
Opposition parties sponsored the initiative to create the investigative committee to review what role Hungary’s financial regulatory system played in the scandals, where the money went and whether any current government officials bear responsibility in the collapses.
During a parliamentary debate on the scandals, Zsuzsanna Szelényi of the opposition party Together (Együtt) said the parliament has only been concerned about compensating those who lost money. Szelényi argued for the creation of a committee to determine how hundreds of billions of forints disappeared, where the regulatory system failed and whether the prosecutor’s office carried out a proper investigation.
Fidesz MP Gyula Budai, the justice committee’s vice-chairman, said it is the responsibility of law enforcement investigators to uncover any theft or embezzlement.
Jobbik MP István Apáti supported the creation of an investigative committee. Apáti criticized Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for his connection to Quaestor’s former CEO, Csaba Tarsoly, and said the government is “trying to sweep this problem under the rug”.
MSZP’s László Teleki also supported the creation of the investigative committee. Teleki said such a move would help restore society’s trust in Hungary’s financial system.
LMP’s Erzsébet Schmuck said it would be in the interest of Fidesz to review and improve the legal and regulatory system’s weaknesses that allowed the scandals to take place.
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