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Fidesz-critic Luxembourgish politician Frank Engel involved in corruption

The Magyar Nemzet is the main daily outlet of Hungary. Founded in 1938, the Magyar Nemzet (Hungarian Nation) is a reference journal for the conservatives of Hungary. The conservative newspaper is close to the current Hungarian government lead by Viktor Orbán.

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This article has been published online by the Magyar Nemzet on March 24, 2021.

Frank Engel, president of the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV) of Luxembourg, has resigned after being involved in a corruption scandal – according to the party’s brief statement. The former Member of the European Parliament was reported by his fellow party members on suspicion of corruption and fake employment. According to the Luxembourg RTL channel, Frank Engel was employed for seven months in 2019 by a non-profit organization where his duties included recruiting members and acquiring donors – yet he never actually completed these tasks. However, despite this negligence, he made sure to pocket his monthly six thousand euros – or in other words, a total of 42 thousand euros, more than 15 million forints. Before the party leader resigned, he attempted to clear his name at a press conference. He defended himself stating that he did not do anything illegal, though he acknowledged that he should have been open about his work and sought greater transparency; he also suggested that some sort of political vengeance may be afoot given the upcoming party leadership elections. The prosecutor has launched an investigation regarding the case.

Frank Engel’s name may sound familiar to Hungarians: the Luxembourgish politician was one of the European Parliament’s main critics of the Hungarian government. The EPP MEP has repeatedly called for Fidesz to be excluded from the faction, as has reported. He believes that governments who do not like the EU should be penalized with funds withdrawals. Engel was also a member of the LIBE committee on the Rule of Law, where he regularly threatened Hungary. In 2018 he had a memorable outburst against Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the European Parliament. Among other things, the politician accused Fidesz of launching a campaign against George Soros and expressed his personal conviction that refusing to admit refugees was anti-European behavior.

“…I am sick and tired of seeing EUR five billion go every year essentially to make a few people close to you richer…”

– hurled the Luxembourgish politician now embroiled in scandal to the Hungarian Prime Minister.

Ironically, Frank Engel spoke about corruption cases related to Hungary a few years ago; in 2017, Engel, as a People’s Party member, participated in a Democratic Coalition party (Hungarian social liberal political party headed by former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány) foundation event in Budapest. At that time, Engel accused the government of crossing certain red lines regarding the Central European University (CEU) case.