Orbán meets Vienna Partners’ Pecina shortly before denying involvement in business matters

February 2, 2018

Orbán meets Vienna Partners' Pecina shortly before denying involvement in business matters
“Off to Vienna” | Source: Facebook/Orbán Viktor

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was in Vienna this week. He met with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (of the Freedom Party) on Tuesday, ate sausages and pretzels with Hungary’s propaganda minister, and answered questions about the European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Agency investigation into his son-in-law’s former business.

At a press conference after his meeting with the vice-chancellor, Orbán was pressed to offer insight into the investigation.

“I don’t deal with matters of business, I never will,” he replied.

For somebody who claims not to deal with matters of business, the Hungarian prime minister apparently cares little for optics.

According to Zoom.hu, Orbán also used the trip to meet with Heinrich Pecina, the enigmatic Austrian businessman whose Vienna Partners, among other transactions, played a central role in the 2016 closure of Népszabadság, Hungary’s main opposition newspaper.

Shortly thereafter, Vienna Partners sold the former leftwing print daily’s publisher, Mediaworks, to a publicly traded company whose main shareholder is Lőrinc Mészáros, Hungary’s fifth-richest individual, who many believe is a front for Orbán.

The prime minister’s press officer confirmed to 444.hu that the meeting with Pecina took place Monday evening.