Friends of Fidesz employed as consultants in Hungarian Trading House

June 30, 2016

A family member of central bank governor György Matolcsy, a friend of ex-government spokespersons, and former and present Fidesz MPs are among those who receive millions of forints from the Hungarian National Trading House operating under the supervision of the Foreign Ministry.

Opening of the Skopje office of the Hungarian National Trading House in 2013

Created by the government in 2013, the purpose of the Hungarian National Trading House (MNKH) according to its homepage is to “support enterprises that are capable of exporting in finding adequate business partners in the international markets”.

Hungarian print daily Magyar Nemzet looked at the consultative contracts of MNKH and found some interesting items. It turned out that many consultants are connected to the government, receiving large amounts of money for their services. These include:

  • Mátyás Matolcsy (relative of central bank governor György Matolcsy) used to work for the Ministry of Economy while Matolcsy was minister. Two months after the famous relative became head of the Hungarian National Bank, M. Matolcsy’s contract ended at the ministry, but that does not mean he became unemployed. Mátyás Matolcsy is currently a consultant for MNKH and earned HUF 10 million HUF (USD 35,000) in the last two and a half years.
  • Zoltán Lengyel, former Fidesz MP, was forced to leave the world of politics after he got into a fight with policemen and was given a suspended prison sentence in 2007. He is now also a consultant of the trading house, receiving a monthly salary of HUF 800,000 HUF (USD 2810).
  • Petra Hajdu, former press officer for governmental communication, is not a consultant. She is a business agent of MNKH in the United States of America for which her services command HUF 1 million (USD 3500) monthly.
  • Regő Lánszki, Fidesz member of the municipal government of Budapest’s 2nd district, is being employed as an expert, with a monthly salary of HUF 400,000 (USD 1400).
  • György Nógrádi, the state media’s favorite “security expert”, is an advisor for the trading house, receiving HUF 500,000 (USD 1750) every month.