The corrupt Roma organization and its former chairman have Viktor Orbán’s support

I have written at least two posts on the scandals surrounding the Országos Roma Önkormányzat (ORÖ/Nationwide Roma Self-Government) and its former chairman, Flórián Farkas. I devoted one post to the checkered career of Farkas, which I then followed up with Ákos Hadházy’s investigation of certain Roma programs that were being generously funded by the European Union. It turned out that instead of the money being used for the benefit of the Roma, most of the money ended up in the pockets of corrupt Roma leaders, including Flórián Farkas. However, no amount of investigation and no amount of evidence made the slightest difference. Flórián Farkas seemed untouchable.

The new chairman  of ORÖ claimed that “the chief obstacle to Roma integration is Flórián Farkas. If he cares at all about the well-being of Gypsies, he should submit his resignation” as chairman of Lungo Drum, a Roma political organization in whose name Farkas formed an alliance with Fidesz. Farkas, however, has no intention of resigning. In fact, he threatened the new leadership of ORÖ, saying that he would abolish the whole organization with the help of his highly-placed friends. I assume that among them one can find Viktor Orbán himself. Therefore it was naive of István Hegedüs, the new beleaguered chairman of ORÖ, to accept Viktor Orbán’s support in his attempt to oust Farkas.

The Fidesz-Roma alliance: New Roma politics--Together for our future

The Fidesz-Roma alliance: New Roma politics–Together for our future

Flórián Farkas still has his devoted supporters, who claim that it is Hegedüs who has ruined ORÖ, which was a well run organization in fine financial shape under Farkas’s stewardship. In fact, the four deputy chairmen of ORÖ have demanded Hegedüs’s resignation. Meanwhile the National Tax and Customs Office is investigating, and ORÖ is close to bankruptcy.

From what we can learn from documents acquired by RomNet.hu, an internet site serving the Roma community, the mismanagement of the organization can be traced to Flórián Farkas’s tenure as the head of ORÖ. Leaders of the organization were grossly overpaid and received benefits to which they were not entitled. It’s no wonder that Aladár Horváth, one of the few Roma politicians of integrity, suggested abolishing ORÖ since it is not the best vehicle for handling the affairs of the Hungarian Roma. And he was not alone. Péter Niedermüller, DK member of the European Parliament, joined Horváth. He described ORÖ as “an organization which is unfit and unworthy to represent the largest minority in Hungary. Fist fights at meetings of the organization, mutual accusations of corruption, secret meetings with government politicians” undermine any confidence in ORÖ. He argued that the money earmarked for Roma convergence, instead of being used to fund this corrupt group of Roma politicians, should be given to authentic civic organizations involved with the betterment of the Roma’s situation.

A few months ago the ministry of human resources reluctantly began to investigate some of the corruption cases connected to Flórián Farkas’s ORÖ. They found at least 270 million forints that were spent on enriching Roma politicians instead of for the intended purposes. ORÖ coughed up 18 million forints toward the amount the organization must pay back to the ministry.

At that point it looked as if Flórián Farkas, who in the past had already had some close calls, would have to give up his cushy jobs as government commissioner on Roma affairs, Fidesz MP, and adviser to the prime minister. On November 26, in a parliamentary commission meeting open to the public, the ORÖ corruption cases came up. János Lázár severely criticized Flórián Farkas and ORÖ’s handling of the generous financial resources supplied by the European Union. At one point Farkas, who attended the meeting, had to listen to Lázár proclaim that the career of a politician who makes such a “mistake” will come to a screeching halt (megy a lecsóba). Well, everybody thought that this was the end of Flórián Farkas.

They were wrong, although in the following days more outrageous stories continued to surface. For instance, ORÖ received seven or eight valuable pieces of real estate, most of which have been left to deteriorate, although one luxury apartment, which ORÖ got two years ago as “a Christmas present” from the Hungarian government, was occupied by friends of Farkas. The organization received a “castle” from the County of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, where Farkas promised to establish a school for Roma boys interested in sports. The agreement stipulated that if ORÖ was unable to open the school within five years, the property would be taken back by the county. Nothing has come of the project, but millions were spent guarding it. And other valuable pieces of property, for instance one in Balatonboglár, have had the same fate.

Lázár might have talked tough at that parliamentary commission meeting, but today he backpedaled when had to admit that “Viktor Orbán has no reason to take away Farkas’s job as government commissioner and he has no intention of severing relations with ORÖ.” Farkas is a very important man for Viktor Orbán. He is the one who delivers the Roma vote for Fidesz. And that’s the only thing that matters.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Anna
Guest

Let’s mention another servile puppet: Andras Heisler who recently toured Canada with Csaba Latorcai.
““I can tell you a great many positive things about the Hungarian government, things that even within all of Europe–when seen from the perspective of the Jewish community–are truly outstanding”, said Mr. Heisler. “Viktor Orbán gave a great speech at the World Jewish Congress and he declared zero tolerance for antisemitism,” ”
http://hungarianfreepress.com/2015/12/02/holocaust-commemorations-public-memory-and-antisemitism-in-hungary-a-video-interview-with-andras-heisler/

Guest

Re: ‘He is not a politician or historian, his job is not to fight racism and antisemitism’

??????????? Saw this comment in the reply section regarding Mr. Heisler. Kind of reminded me of a comedic line from back in tv sit-com land here where the response in being asked to do some work that might not be written down explicitly in the ‘job description’ was ‘Not my job man’ and excusing oneself from doing the work. But considering history, it would appear Mr. Heisler’s job shouldn’t be less burdensome but rather always ‘giving more than is demanded’. Fighting racism and antisemitism would appear to be simply the ‘minimum’.

Adam Gombas
Guest

I had breakfast. The croissant was anti-semitic. The capuccino was populist. It was frightening. We should not forget history!

petofi
Guest

‘The slow demise of Lazar…’

Could it have begun with Lazar’s attack on Farkas?

(It’s to be remembered that those Roma birds of a feather…stick together. Are Meszaros and Farkas fast friends?)

petofi
Guest

Or, as the saying goes, you can change your stripes, but you can’t hide them!

baobab
Guest

Orban is winning, the entire EU is behind Hungary – only due to political correctness openly the diplomats can’t support Hungary. But in private everybody does.

http://index.hu/belfold/2015/12/04/a_liftben_mar_mindenki_magyarorszaggal_van/

Guest

The EU is solidly against Hungary because Hungary exempts itself from EU solidarity.

webber
Guest

baobab
Did you even read the article you posted??!!!
It’s a report on a meeting of Fideszniks in which one of them claimed that people in the EU secretly support Hungary.

If you did read that, you apparently believe everything Fidesz tells you about Europe….

I know of a bridge for sale, if you are interested.

Also, let me inform you that there’s a very good university opening in Sümeg. For a little money you can get a great PhD there (CÖF is involved, they say)

http://nepszava.hu/cikk/1078432-mikro-oxford-epul-sumegen

http://magyarnarancs.hu/kismagyarorszag/oktatasi-alvilag-teruletfoglalasra-keszul-a-kamudoktorik-ismert-lovagja-97454

Also see the article in Magyar Narancs this week, “Doktor Nonszensz és a többiek”

Guest

comment image

Member
OT Yesterday afternoon I read with great interest one of the headlines on google news about the Hungarian Terror Suspect Recruited Terrorist in Budapest. I was already aware of this news, as my father told me on the phone that it was reported on Hungarian television on and on. I looked at the source of the articles, and every single one of them credited, Janos Lazar for the news. On many sites it very much read as a press release as they were very much the same almost word by word. The articles made it sound like the terrorists who committed the crime were the immigrants who stayed at the Keleti Railway Station. In fact what Lazar said is that one of the suspect have been in Hungary, mingled with the travellers and tried to recruit people who refused to register in Hungary, and left with a few?! The story (although maybe true) raises many questions, like: How would Lazar know if the guy mingled at the Keleti station, and tried to recruit people? Even if the guy have been in Hungary what difference does that make? If this guy was planning the attack, how the heck would he have… Read more »
Member
Culpability On the basis of the Orban regime’s (and Lazar’s) long history and pattern of shamelessly manipulating and inventing news (and evidence and laws), I would be highly sceptical of the Hungary/terrorist/recruitment story. It’s just too obvious and predictable from its past (and present) M.O. that Orban’s FUD machine would spin out exactly this. And on the minute chance that there is any grain of truth in any of it, it would almost certainly have been the worldwide scandal of Orban’s appalling mistreatment of the refugees and the news of their miserable limbo state in Hungary that would have tempted those in Paris planning the attack to try recruiting among Orban’s victims. If he had treated them humanely and established lodging, translation and fair registration procedures instead of conducting a hate campaign and building razor fences during the months and months before the buildup, the temptation of recruiting mistreated, unregistered, muslims — endered desperate by Orban’s barbarity — would never have even materialized. If there were any truth to this recruitment story, its meaning would rather be that Orban’s unpardonable mistreatment of the refugees and his resulting failure to register them makes Orban a contributor to the Paris tragedy, not… Read more »
Member

TEST1

Istvan
Guest
Eva’s post on the corruption of the major Roma organization in Hungary really is the tip of the iceberg so to speak of the linked corruption in Hungary. If we look at the case of Laszlo Vizoviczki in Budapest, the drug dealing, prostitution markets portraying themselves as discos for foreign tourists especially during F1 week, and systemic corruption of police we see how Fidesz officials must have been aware of this reality. The issues his case raised were in fact so sensitive that his indictment, and prosecution and was not public. Most of the defendants were civil, but police, fire, finance guards between them, so the trial took place in front of a military council. (see iner.hu/cikk/20150114_vizoviczki_laszlo_megkezdodott_a_targyalas) For fear of being sued Antal Rogan’s name is almost never publicly linked to Laszlo Vizoviczki in the media. Roma corruption and in many cases the selling or leasing of women for prostitution to operations is implicit in all of this. What is really amazing to me is how outrageously open this all has been in the fifth district for years. I think Eva’s discussion of the corruption in the Roma community is sanitized effectively though the most current news and the more… Read more »
Member

TEST2

Member

TEST3

Istvan
Guest
Istvan
Guest

Outline of the Hungarian case against quotas at the European Court of Justice http://nol.hu/belfold/sulyos-jogsertesek-tiz-ponton-tamadja-a-kormany-a-kotelezo-kvotat-1578455

webber
Guest

OT
Because of a rule passed in 2014, Fodor and Gyurcsany (and all MPs) do have the right to tell the Parliament’s registrar, within a day after a vote in Parliament, that their vote wasn’t registered in accordance with their true wishes (that is, MPs in Hungary now have the right to change their vote), but this cannot and will not change the result of the vote (even if a different vote would have!??)

Unless I’ve misread things, there is nothing in the rule even suggesting that the head of a party can change the votes of his party mates. So, Gyurcsany cannot ask the registrar to change his party’s votes (he said he would). Instead, each MP individually has to ask for a change in his/her vote within a day of the vote.

I’ve never heard of such a rule. Does it exist anywhere else? It seems weird and unique.

Text of the rule below:

Parliament rules 10/2014. (II. 24.) 25.§ (7)

“Ha a képviselő a gépi szavazást követően úgy ítéli meg, hogy az elektronikus nyilvántartás nem a szándéka szerinti eredményt tartalmazza, egy napon belül bejelentést tehet az Országgyűlés jegyzőihez. A kihirdetett szavazási eredményt ez nem módosítja.”

Observer
Guest

@ Istvan December 4, 2015 at 9:18 am

“..the corruption of the major Roma organization in Hungary really is the tip of the iceberg ..”

Just a linguistic note: “tip of the iceberg” is normally used to imply we don’t see the much larger rest of it.

In our case however, we do see the whole towering formation. The corruption in Orbán’s mafia state is like a cancer that entangles and sucks blood from every cell of business in Hungary which comes in contact with the state. We can see the symptoms everywhere from the Grippen jet fighter procurement to the printing of school books and from the freeway construction to the village playground contracts and from the Hungarian state TV to the Milano fair pavilion. No exception, even the foreign aid has to pay the dues, see Norwegian/Swiss NGO support.

A monumental sight, but few seem ready to do anything about what they see.

Observer
Guest

@ Istvan December 4, 2015 at 9:18 am

” is the tip of the iceberg…”

Just a linguistic note: “tip of the iceberg” is normally used to imply we don’t see the much larger rest of it.

In our case however, we do see the whole towering formation. The corruption in Orbán’s regime is like a cancer that entangles and sucks blood from every cell of business in Hungary which comes in contact with the state. We can see the symptoms everywhere from the Grippen jet fighter procurement to the printing of school books and from the freeway construction to the village playground contracts and from the Hungarian state TV to the Milano fair pavilion.

Roma funds steeling is just a small brick in the monumental edifice of Orbán’s mafia state.

Observer
Guest

@ Istvan December 4, 2015 at 9:18 am

“ ..is the tip of the iceberg so to speak of the …corruption in Hungary..”

Just a minor linguistic note: “tip of the iceberg” is normally used to imply we don’t see the much larger rest of it. In our case, however, we do see the whole towering thing. The corruption in Orbán’s mafia state is like a cancer that entangles and sucks blood from every cell of business in Hungary which comes in contact with the state, and often beyond. We can see the symptoms everywhere from the Grippen jet fighter procurement to the printing of school books and from the freeway construction to the village playground contracts and from the Hungarian state TV to the Századvég contracts.

Roma funds embezzlement is just a small brick in the monumental edifice of Orbán’s corruption enterprise which we all well see.

wpDiscuz