Fidesz MP proposes to give council apartments to organizations of Slomó Köves and Flórián Farkas

February 15, 2018

Fidesz MP proposes to give council apartments to organizations of Slomó Köves and Flórián Farkas
Fidesz MP István Bajkai (in cap) and rabbi Slomó Köves (in hat) | Photo: @drbajkaiistvan

Fidesz MP and the family attorney of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán István Bajkai proposed to hand over the tenancy rights of council estates in Budapest’s 7th district to organizations tied to rabbi Slomó Köves and Flórián Farkas, reports

Bajkai proposed at the last meeting of Budapest’s 7th district council that the council should give tenancy rights of several council-owned properties to Köves’s Unified Hungarian Israelite Faith Community (EMIH) and the Flórián Farkas-founded Educational and Training Center (OTKA). According to Bajkai’s proposal, the aforementioned organizations should be given tenancy rights of properties larger than 60 square meters, which the council would not lease directly to the organizations, but giving them the right to lease them out. Although the council has the option to charge the organizations 25-50 percent of the properties’ commercial value in exchange for the tenancy right, Bajkai’s proposals do not include this.

Under the proposal, EMIH requests three council apartments for their CEDEK charity organization. EMIH states that they aim to help as many ill, disabled and needy as possible and to launch a soup-kitchen in the district. CEDEK has organized food distribution in the 7th district on numerous occasions, often attended by Bajkai. It is worth noting that in addition to openly backing the Fidesz-Christian Democratic People’s Party candidate in Budapest’s first electoral district István Hollik, Köves’s views on politics, including his rejection of far-right Jobbik, are cited in the district Fidesz propaganda paper Körűti Korzó.

The other organization, OTKA, requests apartments to establish a local network helping disadvantaged families. OTKA, founded by Fidesz MP and chairman of Hungary’s largest Roma party Lungo Drom, Flórián Farkas, has been managed by people close to Farkas for years. The organization has been awarded millions of forints worth of state grants in recent years and participated in the scandalous “Road to choosing a career” program that Farkas used to assuage opponents within the National Roma Self-Government (ÖRO) by hiring them as mentors for the program. OTKA’s official address is the same as that of the Fidesz ally Lungo Drom.

In his EMIH CEDEK proposal, Bajkai notes that the tenancy right scheme is preferable as otherwise the council would have to organize a tender and charge the future tenants market price for the council properties. Based on the proposals, the two organizations would be given tenancy rights for an indefinite period. The 7th district council votes on the tenancy rights of two properties on Wednesday.