Budapest, March 20 (MTI) – The opposition Jobbik is seeking the support of Fidesz MPs, too, to establish a parliamentary committee to investigate whether the sale of “residency bonds” gives the governing party a material advantage, the deputy head of the party’s parliamentary group said at a press conference on Sunday.
Jobbik has collected enough signatures from the opposition to propose the committee, but a majority is required to see it established, which is why the party is asking the support of some MPs from the ruling party, too, said Gábor Staudt.
Citing press reports, Staudt said the matter of the residency bonds is “permeated with corruption” and suggested ties to Antal Rogán, the prime minister’s cabinet chief, and Árpád Habony, an informal advisor to government circles.
An investigative committee would determine whether the residency bond programme was established in an appropriate manner, whether it benefits the state, and why the task of selling the bonds was not given to Hungary’s missions abroad, he said.
Offshore companies have pocketed a “terribly large” 100 billion forints (EUR 322m) in commissions from the sale of the bonds, Staudt said. He added that it was hard to believe that Fidesz is not profiting from that money.
Hungary launched the residency bond programme in 2013. Under the scheme, foreign nationals who buy at least 300,000 euros of securities backed by residency bonds from an agent approved by parliamentary committee become eligible for an accelerated procedure to obtain a residency permit for Hungary, thus gaining entry to the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone.