Company of Hungarian Prime Minister’s brother received EU subsidy yet again

While the Hungarian government stepped up its attacks on the European Union last year with its “Let’s stop Brussels” campaign, the family of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán kept benefiting from EU funds.

Gamma Analcont, a company co-owned by Győző Orbán Jr., one of the prime minister’s two brothers, was awarded an EU grant worth 129 million forints (416 thousand euros) last December. This was the third time the firm received EU subsidies since the prime minister’s brother bought stakes in the company. At the same time, as Direkt36’s investigations have revealed earlier, companies owned by Viktor Orbán’s father and two brothers have been participating in public construction projects, funded mainly by the European Union.

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Gamma Analcont received the latest grant to develop an “intelligent control engineering system” for the oil, gas and chemical industries. In August 2016, the company won an EU grant worth 291 million forints (940 thousand euros) to carry out a renewable energy project in consortium with another company. Seven months earlier, the firm had been awarded 57 million (184 thousand euros) to expand its production capacities.

The funding for the subsidies comes from the European Union’s budget but the grant system is operated by the Hungarian government. Since an institutional reshuffle in 2013, the system has been under the control of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Although many other companies have received grants similar to Gamma Analcont’s (or even much bigger ones), the case of Orbán Jr.’s company is made special by the fact that EU-bashing has been a central element of Viktor Orbán’s government policies since he came to power in 2010. He compared Brussels to the Moscow of communism’s darkest period and his government’s current anti-immigrant campaign is partly an attack against the EU.

Direkt36 contacted the Prime Minister’s press officer, the management of Gamma Analcont and Győző Orbán Jr., but none of them responded to our inquiries.

For company data, we used the services of Opten.

  • András Pethő

    András is a co-founder, editor and executive director of Direkt36. Previously, he was a senior editor for leading Hungarian news site Origo before it had been transformed into the government’s propaganda outlet. He also worked for the BBC World Service in London and was a reporter at the investigative unit of The Washington Post. He has contributed to several international reporting projects, including The Panama Papers. He twice won the Soma Prize, the prestigious annual award dedicated to investigative journalism in Hungary. He was a World Press Institute fellow in 2008, a Humphrey fellow at the University of Maryland in 2012/13, and a Nieman fellow at Harvard University in 2019/20. András has taught journalism courses at Hungarian universities.