In a long article, the German magazine Der Spiegel described how Viktor Orbán is increasingly pushing German companies out of Hungary. It was described that he used to help them explicitly, he was very accommodating to German capital. This has now changed.
Orbán is chasing away German companies
“German companies have long been active in Hungary. But now, Viktor Orbán is trying to force some of them to leave. And when they do, his closest allies stand to profit,” the article begins. The article notes that Orbán was previously accommodating to German capital, especially in the electronics and automotive industries. Several German companies were lured to Hungary by various tax breaks and helpful government officials.
However, this has changed, and these German companies are experiencing signs of the end of this era. For instance, Heidelberg Materials and Schwenk Zement, two construction supplies companies, got a letter from a Hungarian entrepreneur. The person is not named; however, Transparency International believes he is close to PM Orbán. The letter stated that the entrepreneur’s “rapidly expanding group” would acquire the Hungarian subsidiary of the two companies, Duna-Dráva Cement Kft.
“In the way of the interests of the government”
The German side concluded that Duna-Dráva Cement Kft. is in the way of the economic interests of the Hungarian government. Thus, it wants to eliminate it as soon as possible. According to the paper, the government is also trying to squeeze foreign capital out of the Hungarian market with legislation that puts German firms, among others, at a disadvantage.
Examples include the prohibition of Duna-Dráva Cement Kft. to export abroad without a licence, or the introduction of an extra mining fee. This resulted in every bag of cement sold by the subsidiary making a loss.
They also mention the retail sector. “The prime minister is likewise frustrated by the fact that German supermarket chains like Lidl, Aldi and Spar dominate the market in Hungary,” the German news portal writes. According to Der Spiegel, the government is trying to thwart them as much as it can. For example, the price freezes and the frequent inspections and fines they entail serve this end.
The article also cites German politicians who have already spoken out against Orbán’s “mafia methods”. These are primarily used to secure his power while fattening the fortunes of his own people.
“Orbán is penalising European companies that have done nothing wrong in order to solidify crony capitalism in his country,”
the portal quotes Daniel Freund, MEP for the Green Party, as saying.
Gunther Krichbaum, the European policy spokesman for conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) in German parliament, said outright that Orbán is using “mafia methods”.
“It has been made clear [several times] that the goal is that of pushing current owners out of the company and forcing them to sell,”
he wrote in a letter to Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration. “I never imagined that such practices would be conceivable in the European Union,” he added.
As I said before, worst place in the world to invest unless you are connected to the Dictator.
Notice that he doesn’t try to force BMW, AUDI…out because his friends (which is really him) can’t take that.
Strengthening the position of Hungarian Entrepreneurs: Power to the Toadies!
In this case, VIG decided a politically acceptable solution was preferable – but you get the gist.
The article is well worth a read
The government seems to want to own everything, like the communists or at least extreme mafia oligarchs. Time to leave.
Keep an eye out for upcoming draconian legislation that will enslave Hungarian teachers.
Not the end of the list, Avialliance might be the next on the chopping block.