Pro-gov’t media warns supporters of international conspiracy to smear Fidesz

April 6, 2017

Pro-government daily Magyar Idők is warning Fidesz supporters of an impending smear campaign orchestrated against the ruling party’s leadership and members of their families by former state security officials and international media. The article’s tone suggests panic — a frantic attempt to preempt a coming cascade of damaging information being released about key Fidesz politicians.

The print daily alleges that former state security officials conducted clandestine surveillance of Fidesz leadership under the prime ministership of Ferenc Gyurcsány (2004-2009). The article claims that dossiers were created on Viktor Orbán and László Kövér that are missing today, and that a range of state security officials conspired to surveil Fidesz, then in opposition. Such methods involved colluding with underworld figures, such as Tamás Portik, to obtain compromising information on Fidesz politicians.

Magyar Idők claims that the data collection on Fidesz leadership may have also been connected to state security service surveillance of Eduardo Rózsa-Flores, a Hungarian-Bolivian commando and suspected terrorist who was killed in a raid in Bolivia in 2009. The surveillance may have reached as far as Viktor Orbán’s daughter, Rachel Orbán.

“It is not clear how the planned leak of information will attempt to distort public opinion, but it is a fact that Viktor Orbán and leading Fidesz politicians are constantly in the crosshairs of the opposition,” the daily writes. “It is no secret that the interests of the Gyurcsány-like posse align with the interests of the Jobbik-backing Lajos Simicska.”

Further connecting dots, the daily writes that these former state security officials are in cahoots with Ferenc Katrein, the former state security operative/director who recently criticized the Orbán government’s reorganization of the state security apparatus after regaining power in 2010.

The article closes by attempting to tie former state security personalities together with recently confiscated “doctored files” meant to comprise Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér.

Some perspective

The Magyar Idők article reads as though it is preparing readers for a coming operation against Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. With Hungary preparing for national elections in 2018, however, the defamatory political propaganda is certain to pour from both sides.

Fidesz enjoyed the support of longtime Fidesz oligarch Lajos Simicska prior to the 2014 national elections. That changed in February 2015 when Simicska and Orbán had a very public falling out.

The relationship between the two men reaches back to their college days, and Simicska is credited with being the mastermind behind the creation of Fidesz’s economic hinterland. That said, it is more likely than not that Simicska has a few aces up his sleeve as regards possessing compromising information on the prime minister. What makes Simicska a powerful adversary in this respect is his money and his media empire.

There are already signs that Simicska is testing the waters. This week, he told 24.hu that he had withdrawn his consent for Reuters to publish an interview with him. According to Simicska, he did so after Reuters watered-down the interview.

Simicska told 24.hu that Reuters decided not to include his account of a conversation he had with Orbán immediately after the 2014 election. According to Simicska, that was when Orbán informed him he wanted to buy RTL Klub with funds provided by Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned energy giant, purely to shut down the television station.