Radical-right party Jobbik initiated a billboard campaign on the weekend featuring stylized images of suspected oligarchs tied to the Fidesz government, as well as leading Fidesz politicians Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and propaganda minister Antal Rogán.
The billboards and outdoor ad columns, unveiled on Saturday by Jobbik spokesman Péter Jakab, bear the text “You work, they steal,” and pair photographs of pro-government media baron and Orbán’s unofficial adviser Árpád Habony with Antal Rogán, and Orbán with his personal friend and multi-millionaire businessman Lőrinc Mészáros. A line at the bottom of the ads bears alternating messages, including “This is why there is no money for education,” “This is why healthcare is dying,” and “This is why pensions are low.”
The bold billboard campaign is a new step in Jobbik’s media presence, and makes the issue of corruption in the Fidesz government a prominent feature in the former’s campaign strategy. Jakab claimed at a press conference on Saturday that corruption causes the loss of some HUF 400 billion (USD 1.38 billion) to the country each year, and promised that his party would adopt a package of anti-corruption laws and introduce a landowner tax because “the stolen money should go back to those who worked for it.”
Senior Fidesz members, including Orbán, have accused Jobbik of entering into a secret deal with former media oligarch Lajos Simicska. Fidesz vice-president Szilárd Németh claimed in an interview this weekend that Simicska, whose pro-government media empire took a drastically more critical tone after a public falling-out with Orbán in 2015, has taken Jobbik under his control and is financing the party in return for political favors. Németh accused Simicska of giving free advertising to Jobbik.