EU anti-fraud authority Hungarian program for Roma supported by EU funds has never worked and should be investigated
The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is recommending that a Hungarian Government program designed to support the Romani community entitled "Bridge to the World of Work" should be investigated. The program received 1.6 billion forints (EUR 5 million) to establish a social enterprise.
According to news published by Hungary's 24.hu daily, that expenditure could have been fraudulent because the program essentially never functioned and did not achieve any of its aims, not even partially, according to OLAF. Last October OLAF sent documents from the program to the Office of the Prosecutor-General in Hungary.
Even though the findings had not yet been published, OLAF recommended the case be reviewed as part of a criminal proceedings. In 2015, OLAF had already informed the Hungarian Government that financing might be being abused in association with the program.
For the time being, however, nobody has been identified as a suspect and no interrogations have taken place. The head of the program is Flórián Farkas, an MP with the governing Fidesz party.
According to OLAF, the Romani Minority Self-Government in Hungary (ORÖ) did not arrange the conditions for the operation of the cooperative enterprise, which cannot maintain operations on its own. No network of mentors, as was originally planned, was ever built.
Instead, several representatives of the ORÖ were employed by the program. Some real estate was purchased, but no work was ever done on it.
The Hungarian Human Resources Ministry, according to 24.hu, found a total of 24 irregularities with the program before OLAF began its own investigation. In 11 cases those irregularities have since been confirmed.
- Hungary: Radicals protest "Romani crime", Romani people and their allies stand up to them
- Hungary: New Fascist party establishes paramilitary group
- Hungary: Mass demonstrations, protesters say PM endangers the rule of law
- Hungary: Roma Education Fund headquarters damaged by fire
- Hungarian Supreme Court says camerawoman who kicked asylum-seekers committed misdemeanor and can no longer be prosecuted
- Hungarian Scouts claim they did not discriminate against Romani applicants
- Hungarian Parliament approves law sanctioning NGOs, amends Constitution to prevent "foreign settlement"
- Hungary: Traffickers in human beings sentenced to 25 years for 71 deaths, prosecutor wants life sentences
- Hungary: József "Choli" Daróczi, translator of the New Testament into Romanes, has passed away
- Canada grants asylum to former MEP who faced death threats in Hungary due to her Romani origin
- Hungary: Open Society Foundation closing in Budapest due to Government persecution
- BBC Three Documentary Exposes Human Rights Abuses In Hungary’s State-Care Homes
- Hungarian pro-Government weekly publishes blacklist naming alleged "non-conformists"
- Hungary: Romani duo from Slovakia win the "X Factor" music competition
- Hungary: Protests criticize Government, including over Roma integration
- Convicted German neo-Nazi who is a former Red Army Faction terrorist arrested in Hungary after seeking asylum
- Romania: Ethnic Hungarian mob commits arson against Romani children accused of stealing
- Hungary: Camerawoman gets three-year probation for kicking at migrants
- Czech lower house to change leadership, the president and one vice-president will be women, ultranationalist welfare chauvinist is out
- Hungarian court rules Romani children were discriminatorily institutionalized because of their origin and social status
- Czech elections once again fail to elect a Romani legislator to the lower house
- Alternative for Germany, the anti-immigration populists, arguing internally over whether 10 % of the vote is success
- Six Romani men and women are running in Czech elections to the lower house, one for ANO and Levice, two for the Greens, two for ultranationalist party
- Czech town sees 6 000 people attend Romfest in runup to elections, Romani figures explained the importance of voting and warned against ultranationalists
- Czech citizens living abroad can vote in October elections, deadline to register at consulate or embassy is 29 August
- Austria's Die Presse: Covert racism is why Europe's Roma are worse off after COVID-19 pandemic
- Czech MPs abolish infant institutions and raise remuneration for foster parents, bill now heads to Senate
- Czech lower house elections see 22 groups in the running, no Romani-profiled parties among them
- Analysis: Welfare abuse in the Czech Republic is minimal, but in the runup to elections, politicians talk tough about it
- Romani Rose, chair of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, returns Hungarian honors to protest anti-LGBT law