Public Media Day cost taxpayers almost 79 million HUF

The 2014 Szimfonik Live concert was the most expensive item listed in the budget of the Public Media Day, held on September 6, 2014. Another budget line showed that Hung-Ister Zrt. received a few million HUF, a company which is one part of the extensive business interests of Lajos Simicska. Full details of the budget were provided following atlatszo.hu’s freedom of information request.

The Public Media Day, held at Millenáris, a Budapest conference venue, cost a total of 78.9 million HUF and was organised by MTVA (the Media Support and Asset Management Fund, the agency controlling Hungary’s public media). Átlátszó.hu filed a freedom of information request asking for the budget of the event. Surprisingly, and in contrast to previous experiences when we have had to file lawsuits in order to obtain the requested information, in this case the information request was fulfilled.

18.4 million HUF was spent on the technical services of the event, on equipment and professional staff. Several smaller amounts were also present and connected to this event, most notably the fees of performers, for example Magashegyi Underground, Halott Pénz, Mary Popkids, Anna & The Barbies, Odett, We Are Rockstars, Anima Sound System (200,000 HUF each).

The second most expensive budget item was the presentation of the production process of the show Magyarország, szeretlek! (Hungary, I love you!), the promotion of the client and the show and the appearance of the hosts of the show at the event. These services costed 5.2 million HUF this was paid to  Hung-Ister Zrt., part of Lajos Simicska’s business interests. Visitors to the event at Millenáris could also participate at the recording of Fábry show , 600 thousand HUF was paid for this to Trisó Produkció Kft.. György Korda and Klári Balázs received 100 thousand HUF for their one-hour concert, the same amount as Miklós Lakatos and his folk band.

The rental fee of Millenáris was 10.8 million HUF for the duration of the event. 7.9 million HUF was paid for parking spaces for 6 days, for security, cleaning, garbage disposal, radios and cordons. Further technical costs included the rental fee for the visual-technical equipment, in the amount of 3.9 million HUF; 4.988 million HUF spent on the rental fee and operation of local sound equipment, 272,000 spent on the provision of ambulances (Emergency Medical Services) and 175,000 for the police to secure Fény street, which was closed down for the event.