1st Jul 2022

Orbán ally admits he was at Brussels lockdown 'sex party'

  • MEP Jozsef Szajer was a key contact between Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and the European People's Party, where he was chief whip (Photo: European Parliament)

A prominent politician with Hungary's ruling party, Fidesz, and a close ally of prime minister Viktor Orbán, on Tuesday (1 December) admitted that he participated at a lockdown party in central Brussels which broke Covid-19 measures.

Jozsef Szajer, who resigned as MEP on Sunday citing the "increasing mental strain" of the job, was caught on Friday night at a house party at which Belgian media reported police found 25 men, some of them naked, including an MEP and a number of diplomats.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The event, described by Belgian media as an "orgy" and "sex party", was broken up by police. Szajer did not comment on the nature of the party in his statements, he only said it was a "private party".

A press release from the Brussels public prosecutor's office said a passer-by reported seeing a man fleeing down a drainpipe, and identified the individual to the police.

The man, identified as "S. J. (1961)" by police had bloody hands possibly due to the attempted escape, and illegal drugs were found in his backpack.

He did not have identity documents with him, so the police escorted him to his home, where he identified himself with a diplomatic passport.

In his own press statement, the 59-year-old Szajer said the ecstasy pill found by police was not his and he has no knowledge "who and how" placed it there.

"I did not use drugs. I offered the police to make an instant test, but they did not do it," he added.

The Brussels public prosecutor statement a police report was drawn up for "S.J." for violation of the drugs laws.

The prosecutor statement also said two other people, "D. O. (1977)" and "P. B. (1987)", have also invoked diplomatic immunity from the "about twenty persons" found at the party.

"The procedure is ongoing. Criminal proceedings could only be brought after the waiver of the diplomatic or parliamentary immunity of the above-mentioned persons by the competent authorities," the prosecutor office added.

Szajer said he regretted violating Covid-19 restrictions, calling it "irresponsible".

Szajer added that with his resignation on Sunday he drew the "political and personal conclusions", after a long period of reflection.

"The misstep is strictly personal, I am the only who owes responsibility for it. I ask everyone not to extend it to my homeland, or to my political community," he added.

The Fidesz party said in a statement that "Jozsef Szajer made the right decision when he resigned as a MEP. He made the only right decision."

"We acknowledge his decision, just as we acknowledge that he has apologised to his family, his political community and to the voters," the statement added.

Chief whip

Szajer is a key member of Orbán's inner circle, a founder of the Fidesz party, and a key architect of Orbán's illiberal system. He has been an MEP since 2004.

In 2011, Szajer boasted about helping to write Hungary's new constitution on his iPad, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

His own wife, Tunde Hando, has been leading the National Judiciary Office and clashed with judges over appointments, and now serves on the Constitutional Court - which Orbán critics say has been weakened.

Szajer has also been a key point of contact for Orbán within the European People's Party (EPP), where he enjoyed a senior role as chief whip.

The Hungarian government has meanwhile been cracking down on LGBTQI rights at home, and criticising introducing gender awareness into EU policies.


Why isn't Germany helping gay rights in Hungary, Poland?

The European Centre-Right LGBT+ Alliance demands Germany give up its resistance to the Anti-Discrimination Directive and suggest the commission and centre-right parties exert further pressure on Polish and Hungarian authorities to improve conditions for the LGBT+ community and people.

MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship

Two MEPs have withdrawn their nominations from the MEPs Awards over the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis's participation as a sponsor — currently involved in an alleged bribery scandal in Greece.

EU Parliament interpreters stage strike

Interpreters at the European Parliament are fed up with remote interpretation, citing auditory health issues given the poor quality of the online sessions.


The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

News in Brief

  1. Poland still failing to meet EU judicial criteria
  2. Report: Polish president fishing for UN job
  3. Auditors raise alarm on EU Commission use of consultants
  4. Kaliningrad talks needed with Russia, says Polish PM
  5. Report: EU to curb state-backed foreign takeovers
  6. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  7. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit
  8. Russia urges Nato not to build bases in Sweden, Finland

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  3. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  5. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers

Latest News

  1. Covid-profiting super rich should fight hunger, says UN food chief
  2. EU pollution and cancer — it doesn't have to be this way
  3. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  4. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  5. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  6. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike
  7. EU's post-Covid billions flowing into black hole
  8. Nato expands and reinforces on Russian flank

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us