Are Hungarian Public Funds Being Invested in a Romanian Village?

Szeklerland - While most of the municipalities in the region face the problems including a lack of infrastructure, there is one municipality where millions of euros have been invested in recent years.

Remetea has only six thousand inhabitants, yet several factories have been established there, and even the construction of a private airport was finished recently. Several guesthouses have opened and the construction of a five-star hotel has started.

The investments are linked to Attila Balázs, a businessman who started out in this village as a manual labourer, then founded his first company in Hungary and is now one of Hungary's top billionaires. His name is often associated with István Tiborcz, Viktor Orbán's son-in-law. The millionaire businessman's local patriotism probably spurred him to invest in his Romanian hometown, but he was lucky to combine this with the subsidies that the Hungarian government has announced, some of which have landed in his portfolio in a completely opaque way.

Work was still well underway during the investigation on these factories, which are expected to come on stream in 2024 at the earliest, but the impact of these large-scale investments does not yet seem to be bringing profound changes to the region and the local population. Remetea has always been known as an output village, with men travelling to work to distant lands. Surveys show that this will not change in the near future.

Photo by Helga Toth/Transtelex