Budapest, April 16 (MTI) – The opposition LMP party has initiated a debate in parliament about measures that could eliminate offshore businesses in Hungary and proposals Hungary could put forward to Brussels on more effective measures against such businesses, the co-chair of the party said on Saturday.

The issue cannot be ignored since the amount of money “siphoned off from central funds” combined with “illegal gains” made by decision-makers on offshore businesses over the past 25 years would be enough to make up for the lacking funds in the welfare, education, and health care budgets, András Schiffer told a press conference.

Schiffer noted the recent case of the second politician of ruling Fidesz in Bács-Kiskun county to be implicated in offshore deals, János Kerényi, whose wife, son and business partner have all been revealed to have ties to offshore businesses.

LMP wants strict regulations that prohibit involvement of any state or local government operated companies in offshore businesses and ban any individual with involvement in such businesses from filling any state or local government post, he said.

The party submitted to parliament a relevant bill which the economic affairs committee will discuss next week, Schiffer said.

A lawmaker of Jobbik said in response that the party will take part in the discussion.

György Szilágyi said in response to the issue of Janos Kerenyi that the number of Fidesz politicians “with interests in offshore businesses” had increased considerably in the recent past despite pledges by the party leader earlier of putting an end to the era of “offshore knights.”

He noted recent press reports exposing the case besides Kerényi of Péter Hartmann, board member of state-owned energy company MVM.

Szilágyi said earlier that former Fidesz lawmaker Zsolt Horváth, as well as former Socialist MP László Boldvai, were implicated as Hungarian suspects in the so-called “Panama Papers” revelations about the improper use of offshore companies.

Gergely Gulyás, deputy group leader of Fidesz, told a press conference that they are waiting to hear Kerenyi’s response to press reports. He called it inappropriate in general to own an offshore business.


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