I usually don’t deal with topics that are fodder for the tabloids, like the weddings of famous people, but I have to write about the wedding of Viktor Orbán’s eldest child, Ráhel (24). It personalizes the corruption of Orbán’s Hungary.
In case some of you think that it must be the terrible press that dragged the private life of a young girl who happens to be the daughter of the prime minister into the limelight, you would be mistaken. It was Orbán himself who made his daughter’s wedding a public affair.
Viktor Orbán likes to use Blikk, a Hungarian tabloid, to shed light on the private life of his family whenever it serves his purpose. So it wasn’t surprising that it was Blikk that first reported on the details of the forthcoming wedding. Orbán told the newspaper that his modest abode (porta) in Felcsút is not spacious enough to hold the wedding since both families are large. However, he added, luckily the groom’s family owns a “tanya,” which will be most suitable.
Let’s say a few words about this “tanya.” If one looks up the meaning of “tanya” in the Magyar Értelmező Szótár it turns out that the “tanya” where the wedding will be held is not the kind that is described there. A “tanya” is a modest farmhouse with some outbuildings situated in a remote area, a few kilometers from smaller towns or villages in the Great Plains region. Some of these farms still have no electricity.
Well, this “tanya” is neither in the Great Plains nor modest. It is an estate near Bicske not far from Felcsút that formerly belonged to an old noble family. The palatial building is surrounded by 30-40 hectares of land. The new owners, the Tiborcz family, restored the building and added an impressive park. It now functions as a hotel and a horse farm. They also organize larger events there, including weddings.
The Tiborcz family bought the estate sometime in the mid-1990s. Earlier the father of István Tiborcz, the groom, was in the funeral business but he moved into hospitality. In addition to this “tanya” he has a smaller building with seven acres and eleven rooms that he reconstructed as a family hotel. The groom’s family lives 15 minutes from Felcsút in Csabdi.
István Tiborcz (27) finished law school, but he is a businessman who has been doing exceptionally well financially since Viktor Orbán became prime minister. In 2008 he and a friend of his started a small business dealing with electrical and energy supplies. In 2009 they had a modest profit of 8 million forints on which they paid 2 million in taxes. Today their business’s annual profit is over 2.5 billion forints. A good chunk of the money comes from government contracts. According to calculations, in three years István Tiborcz’s government orders have amounted to 3.2 billion forints.
The couple met five or six years ago, and by 2010 Tiborcz was so close to the Orbáns that he was present at the Fidesz victory celebration after the election. Other members of the family also benefited from his connection to the Orbáns. His sister Eszter received 157 hectares for lease, which is 4.1% of all leases distributed among friends and families in Fejér County. His bother Péter works for the Ministry of National Development.
Admittedly, there are benefits to being connected to the “first family.” However, what is happening with the wedding is something else. I’m sure that the Nixon daughters’ weddings were big deals, but I doubt that the city of Washington decided to fix the sidewalk leading to the church. Or send out workers to pick up the fallen leaves around the building. Or repaint the walls of the church that until now were covered with graffiti. Because the wedding itself will be held in the Országúti (Landstrasse) Franciscan Church on Margit körút. In the second half of the eighteenth century when it was built, it was considered to be in the outskirts of Buda but today it stands in one of the busiest spots in Budapest. Some people wonder about the wisdom of holding the wedding there. Think of the traffic jam tomorrow around the church. And then there are all those admirers of Viktor who will want to see him walk into the church with his daughter.
But fixing the sidewalk on Margit körút wasn’t enough. The surroundings of the “tanya” had to be fixed up too. The estate is well hidden. Reporters who decided to look around the site of the wedding had a hard time finding it. The road leading to it has been in very bad shape for years. Huge potholes everywhere. But, never fear, the Hungarian government came to the rescue. Big pieces of machinery arrived a few days ago and in no time the potholes were filled and the grass on the sides of the road cut. After all, the surroundings couldn’t possibly look neglected. What would the three hundred expected guests think? As one headline announced, “Anywhere Ráhel Orbán goes the country is getting beautified.” Viktor Orbán or his minions make sure of that.
Since Viktor Orbán wanted to make a big fuss about this wedding he shouldn’t be surprised that nosy reporters have been snooping around and uncovering dirt, like the work on the road leading to the “tanya.” The trouble was compounded by Viktor Orbán’s press secretary who announced that no one ever touched that road so the guests will have to travel to the wedding on “a road that has the most potholes in the country.” The Hungarian media had a heyday with the most potholed road in the country. Naturally a few hours later came pictures of the road and the obviously recently filled potholes.
And then there is the controversy over the role of TEK, the private army of Viktor Orbán, as the newly established Anti-Terror Center is called by many. The chief of TEK, János Hajdú, former bodyguard of Orbán, denied that TEK will provide security during the wedding ceremony and at the wedding party. Eventually, however, it became clear that since the prime minister is entitled to be guarded by TEK, they will be there. Moreover, TEK is also responsible for the security of President János Áder and House Speaker László Kövér. Áder was invited but will not be able to attend but surely Kövér, an old friend of the Orbáns, will be there. So TEK will take care of this so-called private wedding’s security needs.
It is a strange democracy when the prime minister behaves as if the whole country were his private domain. In a way, it is. The dividing line between private and public is blurred when either the central government or the municipal authorities are ordered or volunteer to fix up the venues of a private wedding. If the graffiti on the walls of the church bother either Orbán or the church, they should pay out of their own pockets. The same applies to the road leading to the Tiborcz estate.
Not long ago we talked about the enrichment of the Orbán family. Well, more members of that family are coming of age. There are four girls in the Orbán family. If each has to offer a “dowry” to her prospective husband on taxpayer money it will be an expensive affair for the country. Let’s hope that Viktor Orbán’s rule will not last that long. The youngest daughter is only nine!
“Let’s hope that Viktor Orbán’s rule will not last that long. The youngest daughter is only nine!”
I rather fear that this is the time horizon that is planned for and we have to reckon with…
I apologize for quoting from a Petofiesque poem in Hungarian :
Szép hazánknak kicsiny földjén
Uralkodik most az önkény.
Zorbán mondja, mit kell tenni,
Meghajolsz vagy nincs mit enni.
Nem lesz az ő lábuk sáros.
Közmunkások nem haboznak,
Felcsúton van Zorbán háza,
Lesz stadion, 4-5 pláza.
Közpénz az van, mint a tenger,
Meg nem pihen az úthenger.
Royal With Cheese
(Samuel L. Jackson)
Thank you Tappanch–Google translate didn’t do a bad job with the poetry. The page seems to have been removed.
Romulus & Remus have also received the Hungarian citizenship.
[This is not a joke!]
Who will fill out their ballot papers in 2014?
Baring death, retirement, internal coup, or revolution, Orbán will be in power long enough to see all his daughters married.
Paul: we may have another “revolution in the voting booth”. It will be smaller and weaker than Fidesz’, given that the new election system now clearly favors Fidesz, but we may have one nonetheless, provided of course that DK/Együtt and MSZP can unite for the elections.
Fidesz can cut utility price to nil, but this is not so easy: MSZP increased the salaries of state employees (like teachers) by 50 percent and in a year MSZP’s popularity decreased. People tend to get used to free money very quickly and set their expectations accordingly (as the new baseline).
Meanwhile there is just no way any normal person would tell any pollster who she/he will be voting for. You simply do not talk to pollsters or you tell them you vote for Fidesz, simple as that. Everybody knows that Fidesz is crazy vindicative and will never forget and will use the data they surely get from Nézőpont, Századvég, Tárki. They will be out to get you and destroy you like a mafia.
So I am a bit more optimistic about the elections, it’s more like what may happen after the elections, given Orbán’s system with his personal friends and party commissioners all over the constitutional system. It will be crazy.
Personally, I think the best would be a Fidesz/Jobbik/LMP result of just shy of 65%. They would be f***d as they could not amend the constitution and the economy would kill them soon. There is no way they can put Hungary onto a growth path. This year their sole strategy seems to be that with their utility cuts people will consume more and that will increase 3-4 quarters’s GDP and we will end up having a 0.25% growth (but a positive one at least) for 2013. Very sustainable.
Protocol is Protocol. The offspring of the almighty ruler are entitled to have proper wedding where occasionally the State steps in to fix the public surrounding areas if they are in as rotten shape as they are.
If they did not, that would be EQUALLY out of place… Its a no win situation… After all without the potholes being fixed wed be even more the laughing-stock of the world…
Theres one thing I do respect. Once you are audacious, extroverted, maffia-like, you cant suddenly withdraw like a liiilte mouse…. That would be even more laughable.
As far as all the dough the new groom is making, its better than if he was the owner a a gassing-bomb factory a la Syrian dictoror Assad family…
I sincerely hope its not gonna go THAT far !
Remember, Tolerance is the key word … ehem 😦
Beside the Hungarian Kardashians there are real issues. Let’s not keep this Real issues:
– 271 workers will loose their job in Koszeg as the sewing factory closes its doors. Triumph used to be the company that supplied orders for the small factory, but they decided to not provide any more orders to the Hungarian facility.
– Mercedes is rethinking its expansion strategy in Hungary.
– Bank fees contrary what Fidesz promised are going up.
– Fidesz’ new data on employment includes forced labour workers, and those who found employment outside the country, hence the data looks great. Also, they compared the precious government Winter data with the current government Summer data. (In Summer more people work, thank to the agriculture).
– Kuruc info questions the holocaust again with no questions from the government.
– Annamaria Szalai’s (†) right hand woman was arrested in her office at the Media Authority, reminiscent to Rakosi era, handcuffed an lead away. No reasons provided to the press.
Watch “Still Report 95 – Hungary” on YouTube
Check out his other interesting newscasts.
Check out Gyurcsany’s documentary about the Godfather of Felcsut. Very very funny, and well timed.
When I looked at it this morning there were only 5,600 some viewers. Now it is over 27,000. Gyurcsány is clever when it comes to campaigning. Let’s face it this is already part of the campaign.
Facts are not this guy’s strength. Most of it is outright lies.
Bill Still apparently tried to run for president in 2012 as a Libertarian.
Kormos, what’s the big deal in Bill Still? He is on youtube and speaks English?
A servant is polishing the brand new Jaguar of Orban’s daughter with his necktie.
Was the car the present of the mayor of Felcsut, who gave himself a 800 million HUF dividend after 3 billion HUFs in orders from the Orban government in 2012?
@tappanch. According to me, this is an extremely old Jaguar (mid-70s) – just well polished…
The Mayor of Felcsut personally denied as “canard” the rumor that he gave a car to Orban’s daughter.
My apologies for spreading the rumor. What is the more modest gift he mentions in the video?
Orban’s son-in-law has cut several tons of acacia trees from his neighbors’ land.
Police is not willing to investigate.
Ye Gods. I was OK (with reservations) until he got to 2010 – and then he left reality entirely behind!
It’s amazing how much someone can twist the facts to fit their own view of the world.
@tappanch. I didn’t comment on the rumor. It may still be the truth. I only said that I don’t think that this is a brand-new Jaguar.
There is an interesting article by Krisztina Ferenczi who has been after Orbán corruptions for years. This time about István Tiborcz’s family:
Don’t know if this has been posted before.
A must-read for those who understand German, they’ll probably fall off their chairs laughing – as I did!
The Pester Lloyd has returned to its political aggressiveness – this won’t go down too well with the Hungarian King and his retinue …
Her Highness Princess Ráhel and her new husband – crown prince of corruption (you can’t call him king – yet ) …
re Pester Lloyd article. I read it. It was really funny.
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