Gábor Széles

Gábor Széles awaits the start of the 2018 Peace March (photo: Orange Files).

Businessman Gábor Széles is the sixth-richest person in Hungary with estimated wealth of around 142 billion forints (459 million euros) in 2018 (source in Hungarian).

Széles is an active supporter of the FideszChristian Democratic People’s Party governing alliance and one of the main organizers of the pro-government Peace March Demonstrations. 

Unlike the other oligarchs in Hungary, Széles acquired immense wealth long before the return of Viktor Orbán to power as prime minister in 2010. Széles has ranked among the richest people in Hungary every year since napi.hu began publishing its annual list of the 100 wealthiest Hungarians in 2002 (source in Hungarian).

Biography

Grew up in Budapest. Earned bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1972 at the Budapest Technical University. Worked at the Eötvös Loránd University Institute of Geophysics as a researcher until 1981. Started an enterprise in 1981 called Műszertechnika (“Instrument Technology”) to develop and manufacture geodesic instruments. Still serves as president of the company, which has branched out into real-estate and financial services. 

Joined the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) in 1989. Was member of the party’s presidency from 1990 to 1993.

CEO-president of the Videoton electronics company, which he and two associates purchased in 1991, and chairman of the Ikarus Bus company, which he purchased in 2006.

Established the pro-Fidesz television station Echo TV and purchased the liberal daily Magyar Hírlap, transforming it into a pro-Fidesz newspaper,  in 2005. Hired Zsolt Bayer as journalist at both Echo TV and Magyar Hírlap.

On December 1, 2016, Széles sold Echo TV to fellow oligarch Lőrinc Mészáros.   

One of the three organizers, along with Zsolt Bayer and András Bencsik, of the three pro-Orbán government Peace March mass demonstrations in Budapest between January 2012 and March 2018.  

Last updated: June 19, 2018.

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