Putin, Orbán, Le Pen and Mészáros – Hungary’s pipe-fitter turned oligarch

I wonder if anyone ever heard about Hungarian oligarch Mr. Lőrinc Mészáros in France?  The billionaire is playing an important role in the upcoming French election, Mészáros is bankrolling Marine Le Pen’s election campaign.

Here is the story.

Mészáros is Viktor Orbán’s childhood friend who started out as a pipe-fitter and within a couple of years miraculously he became one of Hungary’s richest man.  It is suspected that he is the front-man of Orbán’s holdings.

Mr. Mészáros (left) and Viktor Orbán

We know that Orbán is a great admirer of Russian President, Vladimir Putin and far right French presidential candidate; Marine Le Pen never hid her sympathies for the Russian strongman either.  Orbán and Le Pen have both criticized Western sanctions against Russia over its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

In 2014 Moscow-based First Czech-Russian Bank issued a surprise $10.8 million loan to finance Le Pen’s National Front party’s campaign.  It was clear that the Kremlin is behind the loan and Le Pen’s party treasurer Wallerand de Saint Just did not hide the fact that no French bank was willing to provide credit.

Orbán (left) and Le Pen – best friends

Two years later the First Czech-Russian Bank was defunct. The loan ended up with Konti, a Russian car rental agency.   Konti mysteriously transferred it to Aviazapchast, “an aviation company involved in high-priority strategic partnerships with the Russian state.”  In other words, a Russian intelligence operation.

Aviazapchast did not demand payment from Le Pen.  Instead it restructured the loan and entered into a voluntary settlement.  Le Pen can pay back the loan in instalments until 2028.  Good luck Aviazapchast!

This year French elections will take place in April and Le Pen’s coffers were empty again.  Suddenly a Hungarian Bank came to the rescue with a 10.6 million Euro loan.  The Orbán government was tight lipped about the loan, it was reported by the French news agency RTL. (Read here)   Orbán and Le Pen are close allies, they met several times and just recently signed a political declaration in Madrid.

Now Hungarian daily Népszava reports that the loan came from Mészáros.  His MKB Bank has close ties to Orbán’s inner circles and the oligarch is one of the beneficiaries of the euro billions Hungary has received from Brussels. (Read here the Népszava article in Hungarian)

Le Pen’s Rassemblement National party has 17% support and no chance of winning the upcoming presidential election.  The favorite is current president Macron.

Ten million Euro is chump change to Orbán’s kleptocrat billionaire circles.  I find it ironic that the notoriously anti-EU Le Pen’s campaign is ultimately financed by EU taxpayers via Orbán’s Hungary.


György Lázár

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