Hungary has been suffering from the third wave of coronavirus for the past weeks. Still, there are quite a lot of those who seem to be getting on well in this situation.
Some say the peak is very close and that we will soon be over the worst, partly thanks to the rapid vaccination program and the number of available vaccines in the country (which is doing very well in this respect; for more details, click here).
Numbers, however, are showing the opposite.
Hungary is among the countries with the highest mortality rates,
while on Thursday, almost 1,800 covid patients were treated in the intensive care unit and over 9,000 new cases were detected. What is even more shocking is the fact that 82% of patients in the ICU need to be on ventilators.
In these unbelievable and painful circumstances, there is still a small group who seem not only to survive but get on pretty well, too. Valaszonline.hu has found an undeniable connection between the mysterious company importing the Chinese vaccines into Hungary and merchants selling ventilators, who happen to have some indirect ties both to PM Viktor Orbán and Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó.
This “group” sold a gigantic medical package to the government, apart from the vaccines and the machines. So far,
they have generated an income of 105 billion forints (over 291 million euros) for themselves through this business.
A total of 35 partners with whom the government had signed a business deal are on a list provided by the National Centre for Public Health. Considering the whole amount of the expenditure sacrificed on fighting the pandemic, almost one-quarter of all financial resources were paid for this particular “group”.
Fourcardinal Kft. can be linked to members of the Hungarian government on several levels.
Firstly, the company conducted commercial activities abroad, assigned by the government. Zsuzsanna Rahói, the senior advisor of the Prime Minister who is linked to the company in many ways, may be a familiar figure to the public. She can be seen very often on international diplomatic trips as part of the Hungarian delegate. Although it has not been openly stated by her, many photos prove that from time to time, she attends the prime minister’s daughter’s and her husband’s private business meetings, too. Moreover, Rahói’s brother used to be the CEO of Fourcardinal. Back in September, the company signed a co-operation deal that was worth 17 billion forints (47 million euros) for the importation of ventilators.
After the pandemic took a serious turn, the executive board of the company was rearranged a bit. The entourage of Rahói stayed in a high-up position, meanwhile, 2 new faces joined the business. Both of them are linked to Márk Szeverényi, who trades with medications and has ties to Péter Szijjártó through his sister. Said sister and her husband both work or used to work in Foreign Relations.
Not long after the contract on ventilators was signed, the company managed to agree with the government on a project to import different equipment needed in hospitals. Thousands of machines monitoring patients and infusion pumps were delivered for double the previous contract’s sum, increasing the total up to 50 billion forints (138 million euros) at that point.
Márk Szeverényi’s name appears again when it comes to Sinopharm vaccines. Danubia Pharma Kft., who arranged the super expensive shots for Hungary, used to be part of his portfolio. According to Valaszonline.hu’s sources, he still has ties to the business.
Danubia Pharma has collected 55 billion forints (over 152 million euros) thanks to the co-operation on vaccines.
These two companies and a small group of people linked to PM Viktor Orbán’s advisory board and the family of Péter Szijjártó’s secretary won almost the quarter of the whole “national cash register” designated to fight Covid.