Hungary’s state-owned import-export bank, Eximbank, has extended a HUF 1.2 billion loan (USD 4.32 million) to government film commissioner Andy Vajna’s recently acquired television station TV2 to help cover operating expenses.
Hungarian daily newspapers Heti Válasz and Népszabadság were the first to report on Vajna’s latest loan from the state-owned bank. Last year it was reported that Eximbank, which is technically owned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, was one of two state-owned banks which financed Vajna’s purchase of TV2 for HUF 6.72 billion, according to Hungarian economics daily Világgazdaság.
Vajna, in his capacity as government film commissioner, now reports directly to the so-called minister for propaganda, former Fidesz parliamentary whip and Budapest District 5 mayor Antal Rogán. By coincidence, the current deputy CEO of Eximbank is András Puskás, who served as deputy mayor of District 5 under Rogán’s mayorship. Puskás resigned as deputy mayor to take the Eximbank job only months before municipal elections in 2014 after becoming embroiled in a scandal involving the conspicuous purchase of luxury items. Rogán tapped Fidesz city councilman Péter Szentgyörgyvölgyi (Fidesz) to replace Puskás and ultimately Rogán himself after a law preventing parliamentarians from serving as mayors came into force.
Since being elected district mayor, Szentgyörgyvölgyi has continued his predecessor’s proud tradition of selling district real estate to Fidesz cronies or their supporters at substantially below market prices, at least according to District 5 assemblyman Péter Juhász (Együtt).