János Lázár, even alongside his ministerial work, managed to expand his already substantial real estate portfolio with four new fields of arable land last year. The minister now owns a total of 43 properties, including his residences in Budapest and his native town of Hódmezővásárhely. The four new acquisitions, totalling approximately 24 hectares, are located around Hódmezővásárhely. In addition to a Land Rover Defender and the stylish Mini Cooper Cabrio he uses for hunting, he also began leasing an Audi A6 Allroad last year. Despite these purchases, his wealth in cash and bank deposits increased slightly compared to the previous year, currently amounting to 34 million forints. However, his debts surpass even this amount: 12 million in personal loans, 24 million in investment loans, and a leasing debt of 20 million. Furthermore, he still has outstanding debts owed to private individuals, currently totalling 40 million forints.
In contrast, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán saw his savings diminish significantly, while leader of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office Antal Rogán is also earning less with his invention.
While Minister of Defence Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky acquired two new properties last year, his once impressive bank deposit has nearly disappeared since the beginning of his government role. According to his recent declaration, the minister expanded the list of his seven already owned properties with a residential house featuring a 717-square-meter courtyard in Budapest’s District XII, in addition to a 14,000 square-meter estate in the village of Káptalantóti, with the building itself covering 400 square meters. The minister owns his credit institution a mere 32 million, dwarfed by the HUF 1 billion formerly on his account in 2022. He has 50 million in HOLD PB’s fund and also carries a bank debt of 55 million.
The amount Minister of Energy Csaba Lantos has in Hungarian government security investments slightly decreased in 2023. Instead of last year’s 920 million forints, he now owns “only” 867 million forints in such securities. He also owes 50 million to a credit institution, while his credit claim from Lantos Plc. increased to 904 million forints. However, his purchase price receivables regarding this same entity decreased to HUF 280 million. His previously declared package of insurance and pension fund receivables, valued at approximately 100 million forints, remains unchanged. Lantos holds nearly a dozen positions from which he earns income in addition to his ministerial salary, for example being a member of 4iG’s advisory board, the Board of Directors of Richter Inc., and also serving on the board of trustees at the University of Szeged.
Head of State Katalin Novák did not acquire any new real estate holdings, nor does she possess high-value assets or investments in securities. However, she has a bank account receivable of 31 million forints, which is 10 million less than it was a year ago, indicating a smaller amount saved last year. In addition to her presidential salary, she earns monthly income ranging from 200,000 to 500,000 forints from real estate leasing.
Minister for National Economy Márton Nagy, on the other hand, invested his savings in securities. According to his declaration, he has a total of 100 million in government securities as well as in insurance at Generali Plc. His cash reserves and bank deposits amount to around HUF 9 million. The minister also owns a residential house in the capital’s District II and has partial ownership in three other residential properties on Budapest’s Buda side.
Having repaid former debts, leader of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás did not take on any new loans. However, he listed a 20 million-forints investment in Bónusz Hungarian Government Bonds, as well as a bank account receivable of 11.8 million forints in his asset declaration.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó still owes his parents 30 million forints. Despite declaring significant savings in recent years, he retains the parental loan received years ago at nominal value. His monetary assets are less than last year, still amounting to 16 million, and he also holds 46 million forints in investment funds.
Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér still owns the Wartburg automobile he inherited back in 1995, in addition to various savings ranging from a HUF account to government securities and bonds. However, he has been waiting for years in vain for his loans receivable of HUF 500 million – provided to friends and family – to be repaid. Apart from his ministerial salary, he has no other income.
Minister of Finance Mihály Varga has savings worth 28.4 million forints in government securities, and he also holds 11.6 million forints in investment funds. He also listed a 7 million forint bank account receivable. However, he owes private individuals 62.4 million forints, which is about 5 million more than last year.
Bence Tuzson, Hungary’s Minister of Justice since last August, listed three properties in his asset declaration, two of which are weekend houses in Mátraszentimre and Tihany. The Minister of Justice does not have high-value movables – a car, for example – but he has savings of 64.5 million forints in securities, a bank account receivable of 16 million forints, and another contractual claim of 51 million forints. He has outstanding bank debts amounting to a little over 5 million forints. The document also indicates that his children do not have independent assets.
Within the span of a single year, Minister of Culture and Innovation János Csák somehow managed to double his savings. The politician, probably having sold his Toyota Yaris last year but retaining his Triumph and Yamaha motorcycles, has invested all his savings in securities. Csák now has a total of 338 million in government securities, investment funds, home savings accounts, and term deposits. This is interesting, as according to his 2022 declaration, he had only 161 million in securities and an additional 18 million in cash savings at the beginning of last year.
The President of the Hungarian National Bank (MNB), György Matolcsy, experienced an increase in his salary, but his cash savings were halved over the course of 2023. Matolcsy’s 2022 asset declaration revealed a sudden accumulation of wealth amounting to 240-250 million in state bonds, bank accounts, and cash. However, according to his 2023 declaration, this financial wealth has halved: he now has HUF 25 million in Premium Hungarian State Bonds, 30 million in savings deposits, and 65 million in a bank account. Matolcsy designated his MNB presidency as his sole source of income, which increased to a gross monthly 6.2 million in February 2023 from the previous 5.2 million.
Former Minister of Justice Judit Varga, who exchanged her ministerial status for the pole position on Fidesz’s European Parliament list in the summer of 2023, received a monthly gross income ranging from 1 to 5 million forints for her scientific research and teaching activities at the Central European Academy. Despite this, she claimed in her asset declaration that she still couldn’t save a single forint. However, she has a 60 million-forint mortgage and she also borrowed 5 million forints from her family in April 2023, which will mature on May 31, 2033.
The most significant change in Varga’s assets is that due to her divorce, she now has full ownership of the Balatonhenye house and property that she formerly co-owned. Presumably, this is also the reason why two apartments and a garage in Budapest, as well as a Volvo car and a Yamaha piano are no longer listed in her declaration.
Fidesz’s Miklós Seszták increased his wealth held in government securities by nearly a hundred million, going from 492 million in 2022 to 590 million last year. In addition to his savings in state bonds, he has more than 50 million held in other securities, along with 60 million in cash and bank deposits. Besides his parliamentary salary, the politician from Kisvárda also receives state remuneration as a government commissioner, while according to his declaration, his law firm Seszták & Co further supplements this by 7 million every month.
As the owner of Altus Portfolio Ltd., former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány receives a couple hundred thousand forints each month in addition to his salary as a parliamentary representative. Besides a number of other contractual claims, his declaration also reveals a 433 million-forint advance payment for a property purchase as well as two loans worth 10 and 199 million forints – this roughly matches the amounts declared last year. The Democratic Coalition (DK) politician also listed a 58 million forint bank loan among his liabilities.
I only have Hungarian citizenship,
stated far-right Mi Hazánk’s Előd Novák, who recently spearheaded an unsuccessful campaign for a change in election law aiming to make it obligatory for representatives to disclose which countries they are citizens of. He also announced in his declaration that he had pledged his parliamentary income for 2024 to charitable causes, “mainly for the establishment of a mother’s home, as well as for a campaign emphasizing the importance of having children both on the level of the individual and the national economy, as the state unfortunately only spends public funding on billboards featuring propaganda along day-to-day political battles as opposed to advertisements of public interest”. In a similar fashion, Novák’s wife and fellow parliamentarian Dóra Dúró also declared that she only holds Hungarian citizenship.
Mi Hazánk faction leader László Toroczkai also included his political stance in his asset declaration. In 2023, he purchased a 521-square-meter piece of road leading to his rural estate for 170,000 forints, stating that he had enough of “illegal migrants, human traffickers, and other criminals passing through it.” Toroczkai did not disclose whether he holds Hungarian citizenship.
Péter Ungár, parliamentary representative of green party LMP (Lehet Más a Politika, “Politics Can Be Different”) declared a monthly income of 11 million forints as a trust fund manager and beneficiary. Much like last year, he holds 12 million in HUF and another 9 million in foreign currency, but also has claims worth 99 million forints as per other contracts.
Independent MP Ákos Hadházy (formerly of LMP and before that, Fidesz) specifically noted that in 2023, he received private donations of 1.5 million forints to support his political work and to pay the “unjustly imposed fines” for organising the protests tearing down fences around the Prime Minister’s seat in the Buda Castle. The independent representative has a 15 million-forint bank loan, and his personal debt to individuals amounts to 3.9 million forints.
Fidesz member Sándor Lezsák reported a modest increase in his assets in the form of purchasing a Volkswagen Polo, while former Jobbik-chief Péter Jakab, now leading A Nép Pártján (On the People’s Side), submitted a completely empty asset declaration.
Regarding asset declarations, K-Monitor recently drew attention to an important change. Before the publication of the 2023 declarations, the online newspaper compared the asset declarations of parliamentary representatives for May and November 2022. It was during this period that a change occurred in the contents of asset declarations with the addition of a fine-print section stating that “it is not necessary to disclose the property that the declarant or a family member of theirs uses for habitual or permanent residence purposes.” As a result, K-Monitor found that properties of a seemingly primary residential nature had disappeared in the newer declarations in about a third of the documents submitted by Hungary’s 199 MPs.