Budapest, December 4 (MTI) – The radical nationalist Jobbik party has proposed the setup of a parliamentary committee with 10 members and equal representation from all parliamentary parties to investigate the state’s “residency bond” scheme.
Under the scheme 300,000 euros worth of bonds are offered to foreigners in return for a residency permit that can be extended for five years and allows free travel throughout the Schengen zone.
Gabor Staudt, Jobbik’s deputy parliamentary leader, told a press conference on Friday that the scheme had allegedly been an idea thought up by Antal Rogan, then head of the parliamentary group of the ruling Fidesz party. The government had charged “suspicious offshore companies” with the sale of the bonds, instead of embassies, Staudt said. He added that there are even brokers who typically receive commissions of 45,000-60,000 euros for each sale. Staudt said for this price all they do is to send the clients to Hungary’s foreign representations.
The Hungarian state has received 205 billion forints (EUR 655.1m) in revenue from the sale of the bonds and according to estimates published in press reports companies administering the sale had profited 50-60 billion forints.
Jobbik would task a committee to look into the benefits of the residency bond programme to the Hungarian economy as well as the background of the companies charged with administering the sales, Staudt said.