Nontransparent private foundations shape the political battlefield

Atlatszo.hu inquired into the financial affairs of former prime minister Gordon Bajnai’s “Haza és Haladás” (Homeland and Progress) Foundation and of Civil Cooperation Public Interest Foundation (CÖKA), the organizer of the pro-government “Peace March” events ‒ since both foundations are serving political interests their transparency is crucial to Hungary’s 2014 elections. Atlatszo.hu inquired about the funds raised and spent by Homeland and Progress Foundation and about CÖKA’s budget of the advertising campaign against former PMs Ferenc Gyurcsány and Gordon Bajnai. None of the foundations replied to the questions. Later László Csizmadia, the chairman of CÖKA’s board stated that even though the organization’s statute said it was obligatory to make the board’s decisions public, that didn’t mean the decisions were public at all. Atlatszo.hu pointed out that CÖKA placed its ads mainly on the advertising space’s of Publimont, a company connected to the capital’s public transportation company, and on the ad space’s of Euro AWK which is owned by Károly Fonyó, a businessman connected to pro-government oligarch Lajos Simicska.

Read the full article in Hungarian here.