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Trade unions refuse to disclose their expenditure of governmental funds
Atlatszo.hu mainly focuses on the financial transparency of state institutions and political parties but also puts emphasis on the accessibility of information about non governmental organizations. Trade unions have not answered our questions about how they spent their governmental support (the total annual budget for the 8 largest Hungarian trade unions is around 800 million HUF, ca. 2.7 million EUR).
The positions of trade unions in Hungary have dangerously weakened in recent years, as their options became very limited because of the strong government: their strikes are being ignored and their opinions are not reflected in the legislation processes. For example, even the Teachers’ Democratic Union (one of the most influential trade unions) could not affect the current educational situation created by the reigning government.
This apathy from the trade unions may be explained by the support they received directly from the government: during 2012 autumn, this support reached 220 million HUF (ca. 750,000 EUR). Unfortunately, trade unions do not disclose how they spent this money as they constantly refuse the enquiries and questions from atlatszo.hu about this issue. One can just guess the reasons of the lack of transparency, but the last few years provided quite a few examples of misuse of governmental funds.
Read this article in Hungarian here.
Translated by Péter Gyarmati.