After Kaleta, the political appointee in Madrid is ruined

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send another political appointee to the head of the embassy in Madrid, this time Gyula Budai, a former prime minister and then a ministerial commissioner, will take over the leadership of the Spanish embassy. According to the Index

Katalin Tóth is certainly facing an exciting challenge, as her predecessor was recalled from Madrid by President János Áder “without acknowledging his merits” after barely a year.

Prior to his career as a classical philologist diplomat, who did not have a Spanish language exam – at least according to his own biography – but at least according to his own biography – he worked as Secretary of State for the distribution of adult education funds, but was dismissed in 2017 by Minister of Finance Mihály Varga. The decision was presumably based on the scandals surrounding the National Roma Self-Government. Several representatives of the organization were unauthorized to raise grants from EU funds, to which Odrobina was bound as a government ally of Flórián Farkas.

The Index was informed that Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó had personally acted in recalling Odrobina. At the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee, it was asked why the Ambassador of Madrid had to leave hastily, to which Secretary of State Péter Sztáray, representing the Ministry, said: During Szijjártó’s visit to Spain, he discussed this in person with the head of the mission. The minister visited Madrid in June.

Kaleta was brought home by the Hungarian secret service from Peru in the spring of 2019 after being suspected of possessing child pornography during an international police operation. He was then indicted by the Budapest General Prosecutor’s Office at the Buda Central District Court in November of that year, while several circumstances of the case were encrypted. Kaleta pleaded guilty at trial and was sentenced by the court at first instance to one year’s suspended prison sentence and payment of a fine.

The Foreign Affairs Committee also decided on the identity of the ambassadors of Tashkent and Amman. Gyula Kovács, former Chancellor of the Pannonian University of Veszprém, will lead the representation in the capital of Uzbekistan. During the hearing of the political appointee, a scandal erupted around the representation in 2017. It was then revealed that the construction of the embassy building was carried out by local companies while the staff did not comply with the basic information security standards. In response to questions in this regard, it was alleged that the ministry has since “rectified the error”. In Amman, the capital of Jordan, Attila Káli, a career diplomat and former ambassador to Kuala Lumpur, will take over the leadership of the mission.

Cover image: Katalin Tóth – MTI Photo: János Marjai

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