Businessman Lajos Simicska

DownloadedFile-2Lajos Simicska is a reclusive businessman who became the most significant oligarch, in the Russian sense of the term, in Hungary during Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s second cabinet between 2010 and 2014. However, Prime Minister Orbán has taken measures since the formation of his third cabinet in May 2014 to curb Simicska’s economic power. 

 

Biography

There is no information available regarding the date or place of Simicska’s birth or his childhood. He went to the same high school as Viktor Orbán in the city of Székesfehérvár (central Hungary, population 101,000), graduating in 1979, two years before the current prime minister.    

Attended the Loránd University School of Law and Political Sciences in Budapest in the 1980s, though it is not known if he graduated. Participated in the formation and early activities of Fidesz, though was not among the 37 founding members of the party in 1988.

Assumed his first formal political position in 1993, when he became Fidesz’s financial director.  Served as president of the internal revenue service ÁPEH during first Orbán government in 1998-1999 before resigning and withdrawing from public view in the latter year due to attacks from the National Assembly opposition that he claimed had driven his father and father-in-law to the grave.

Spent the next 12 years quietly building an opaque business empire that most prominently includes the formerly state-owned construction company Közgép and advertising company Mahir Cityposter. These companies have profited enormously from contracts for state projects won since the second Orbán government came to power in 2010 (source A and B in Hungarian).

No public photographs were taken of Simicska from the time he was the president of ÁPEH in 1998 until the weekly Magyar Narancs published a photograph of him on the magazine’s cover in December 2012.    

Based on his high-school graduation date, is assumed that Simicska will turn either 52 or 53 in 2013.

 

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