Wife of Hungary’s chief prosecutor involved in questionable central bank dealings

April 26, 2016

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Hungary’s chief prosecutor, Péter Polt, may find himself stuck between a rock and a hard place because of the controversy surrounding the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) foundations, reports Hungarian news site nol.hu. Polt’s wife, Marianna Polt-Palásthy, works for the MNB, is directly involved with a few of the foundations, and even sits on the board of a school established by the foundations.

Polt-Palásthy heads the supervisory board of the MNB’s Pallas Athéné Domus Scientiae foundation, and sits on Pallas Athéné Domus Mentis foundation’s supervisory board, as well as being a supervisory board member of Kecskeméti Duális Oktatás Zrt. (an economics program launched by the MNB’s foundations in Kecskemét).

She has also been a personnel administrator at the Hungarian central bank since 2014, a position that pays some HUF 5 million (USD 18,000) per month. Prior to that, she worked at the Ministry of Human Resources as a deputy undersecretary for legal, personnel and international affairs.

Members of the MNB foundations’ supervisory boards are tasked with overseeing the legality of operations and business activities of the foundations to ensure that they are taking place in accordance with the organization’s bylaws. In short, the supervisory board members must keep a close eye on the work of the foundations.

The MNB’s foundations are stuffed with central bank personnel, including MNB chief accountant Gábor Kalina, MNB vice-president Ferenc Gerhardt, and even MNB governor György Matolcsy himself. The foundations have also provided nice positions for people conspiracy theorist László Bogár and former Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIÉP) MP Csaba Lentner.

Despite the controversy surrounding what many in Hungary consider to be the unlawful spending activities of the National Bank of Hungary and its foundations, it is safe to assume Péter Polt will not be launching any investigations into the MNB or any of its foundations in the foreseeable future.