Opposition turns to top court over government ‘funnelling’ public money to foundations

Hungary's opposition parties have turned to the Constitutional Court to ask for the annulment of a law that channels public monies into private foundations.

The opposition Jobbik, Socialist, Democratic Coalition (DK), LMP and Parbeszed parties held a joint press conference on Wednesday, where LMP’s group leader Laszlo Lorant Keresztes accused the government of funnelling public funding for the “entire higher education system” into foundations, allowing “Fidesz party cadres to oversee some 1,000 billion forints (EUR 2.9bn) in public funds”.

Jobbik deputy leader Gyorgy Szilagyi called on the top court to “help the opposition protect state assets,” adding that Hungary had been “ruled by a mafia government for 11 years”.

Gergely Arato of DK said the law “brought misappropriating public funds to a new level”, with certain assets entirely removed from the state.

Laszlo Szakacs of the Socialists said that making changes to who runs Hungary’s universities would not guarantee competitiveness, and there was no reason why state universities should fail to withstand competition.

Parbeszed lawmaker Bence Tordai accused Prime Minister Viktor Orban of building a parallel state fully under his control. He said the government parties were “thieves conducting neo-liberal policies while having promoted the opposite for a decade”.

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