The personal asset declaration forms Hungarian politicians are required by law to submit each year have never been of much use. Although every MP must do so, valuable assets such as property tend to be underreported or omitted altogether. This appears to be the case with regard to the asset declaration of László Tasó, undersecretary for Transport Policy in the Ministry of National Development. And now investigative journalists at Direkt36.hu have shed light on another suspicious document.
Neither active, nor rich
Imre Pesti (pictured above) is a member of parliament and the governmental party of Fidesz who has neither been very active as a politician nor very rich. Still, according to Direkt36.hu, he has a family house in the outskirts of Budapest that is not included in his property declaration form.
The two-storey house is in a quiet residential area of the 17th district. Pesti is not the owner, but holds the right to use the property and constantly quotes the address in his business documents.
Law demands that the right to use a property must be included in the property declaration form, but – according to the website – the Fidesz politician has not fulfilled his obligation ever since he was elected MP in 2006.
Pesti: I did nothing wrong
Pesti told Direkt36.hu he did nothing wrong, as back in 2006 he was not obliged to declare property which he did not own but only had the right to use. His explanation is however unfounded, because the need for declaration has been expressly stated in the form since 2013. Many other MPs have followed the rule, even in Fidesz.
The politician’s other argument was that he got the property 13 years before being elected MP. Unfortunately for Pesti, this does not exempt him from the rule either.