Budapest (MTI) – The Hungarian Islamic Community (MIK) has rejected the charge that it had demanded millions of forints from a private welfare service provider in return for ensuring the provider’s eligibility for state financing.
The online edition of daily Magyar Nemzet reported on Sunday that the owner of a welfare services centre had agreed to cooperate with the community to receive the financing earmarked for religious organisations, thus increasing its across-the-board subsidy from central coffers by 50 percent. Community leaders, however, skimmed a monthly 4 million forints off the extra funds, the portal said.
MIK said on Monday that it had never been involved in illegal practices and never supported extremist views.
It is not by chance that the portal came forward with its accusation, “capitalising on the anti-Islam sentiment triggered by the Paris attacks which were deeply condemned by the community, too,” it said in a statement.
Commercial HirTV reported on Sunday it had footage of talks between community leader Zoltán Bolek and the service provider about the money.
The treasury froze funds to the service provider last year, under suspicion of fraud, HirTV said. Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog confirmed to the channel that an investigation was being launched.