The politician behind the spa investment craze
The focus of an investigative piece on atlatszo.hu were the forces behind several Hungarian local municipalities which in the 2000s opted for spa investments. Many of those investments now seem to be of questionable financial sustainability and the same seems to be true for municipalities which financed such projects by issuing bonds denominated in foreign currencies. Our article shows how Fidesz MP, Erik Bánki rose to power in Southwestern Hungary, building strong ties with municipal political forces back there while in the Parliament becoming a main player on tourism and especially spa tourism issues, and also taking part in a joint company with the businessman involved in several spa buliding projects on Bánki’s home field. Our piece also found a consulting firm – advising several municipalities in Southwestern Hungary on development topics – to have ties to Bánki.