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When you think they can’t sink any lower, they do

Barely a few weeks after the Hungarian left's bogus video featuring a fake ambulance officer has provoked a general outcry, production is in full swing again in their fake news factory. This time the threads of the case go all the way to Spain.

A recent article published by the Hirklikk news site, closely linked to the Hungarian opposition, focuses on an interview full of unexpected twists. The fake news was spotted by the daily Magyar Nemzet.

Thanks to an unprofessional incident, Hirklikk's close affiliation with the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) is no longer a secret. The news portal did not only publish the statement of Lajos Korozs - the politician forced to provide an explanation with regard to the bogus paramedic video - ahead of time, but the article itself also contained the internal instructions of the Socialist (MSZP) consultants tasked with providing a manual, step-by-step guidance.

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This time, the news portal was told by a certain Karoly Nemeth - the alleged consultant of Norcros Hungary Llc - that although a machine capable of detecting the coronavirus in just eight minutes has become available in Hungary, "local healthcare managers have decided to purchase expensive and outdated machines, instead of these cheap and modern ones."

Mr Nemeth claims that this cheap and modern equipment had been registered by Hungary'sNational Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYEI). He said he also visited a number of Hungarian experts - including the rector of the Semmelweis University (SE), a medical university in Hungary - and recommended the equipment to Hungary's chief medical officer and the director of several public hospitals, who were "all blown away and urged him to start negotiations with the government." Mr Nemeth mentioned the names of a number of renowned Hungarian experts.

When asked why state leaders have refused to order the equipment, Karoly Nemeth provides an obscure reply hinting at potential corruption: "because they can't make money on it. Or they have already decided at the highest level to buy the HUF 16-million equipment, instead of those that would only cost 3 million (forints)."

Allegedly, Mr Nemeth also wanted to consult with the health ministry's state secretary, but he didn't get an appointment. He says although the minister's staff had "promised" to call him back, they never did.   However, according to the Magyar Nemzet newspaper

  • neither the minister, nor the state secretary for health had received a written request from the aforementioned company and Karoly Nemeth.
  • many of the alleged experts denied that they know Karoly Nemeth.
  • There is no trace of his company eaither in the OGYEI transaction tracking system, or in its correspondence.
  • Hungary's Chief Medical Officer, Cecilia Muller, did not praise the equipment to anyone, including Karoly Nemeth, and she has never seen the device.

Magyar Nemzet also draws attention to the fact that, in addition to the article's highly confusing statements, HirKlikk also published some passages which the interviewee himself had specifically asked to be withdrawn in order "to avoid possible attacks," something the editor also indicates at the end of the writing.

According to these excerpts, Karoly Nemeth, as he puts it, "used to import Chinese face masks jointly with the Hungarian state" through his company. Moreover, he was also there when PM Viktor Orban took over the masks, he says.

Nothing feels right about the company

Interestingly, Norcros Hungary Llc, featured in the HirKlikk interview, was founded on 11 May this year, which looks slightly odd in light of the fact thatthe masks' prime ministerial takeover, as mentioned by Karoly Nemeth in the interview, took place on 24 March.

Moreover, Mr Nemeth's name does not officially appear in the Norcros company, which has two owners. One of them is Imre Laszlo Kovacs, whose registered address was also used by many other indicuduals, whose businesses ended their careers with forced cancellations from the register.

The other (minority) owner of Hungarian Norcros is a limited liability company called Norcros GMS Group SL. According to the available data, the Spanish Norcros company has been operating for more than twenty years with a registered headquarters in a flat in a San Sebastian courtyard apartment building, in Basque Country.

The address of the Hungarian Norcros company is another serious surprise. The company's registered address is 1st floor/1, 48 Lehel Street, 13th Disctrict Budapest. It's commonly referred to as the "Kika-office building" by the official company database, and hides hundreds of addresses that are under forced cancellation procedures.

In short, the company where Karoly Nemeth - featured in the Hirklikk interview - acts as a consultant and the Hungarian sales representative of an equipment that Western hospitals had allegedly ordered tens and hundreds of thousands of" is registered in a company cemetery.

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