Varga: No reason to dismiss tax chief

History

Ildikó Vida, the chief of Hungary’s National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV), has been performing her job without concerns that she could eventually be dismissed from her position, Hungary’s National Economy Minister Mihály Varga said late yesterday on commercial channel ATV.

“It is not the government’s intention to dismiss her,” Varga said commenting on recently surfaced news reports suggesting that Vida, who earlier admitted she was one of the individuals banned from entering the United States, could be fired by this summer.

Népszabadság noted earlier that media oligarch Lajos Simicska, whose good relationship with Orbán had recently soured, is currently in a confidential relationship with Vida.

Vida made headlines in October, after it was revealed that six Hungarians were denied entry to the United States on suspicion of corruption. All six individuals are government employees or affiliated with the government, André Goodfriend, former chargé dʼaffaires of the United States embassy in Budapest, said, but citing privacy laws, he refused to give details despite Hungarian government entreaties. While he did not name the officials, Vida admitted that she was one of the people to whom Goodfriend was referring.

Vida initiated a lawsuit against Goodfriend on charges he libeled her when speaking about corruption in Hungary, and asked the Chief Prosecutorʼs Office and the Budapest Municipal Court to request that U.S. authorities lift Goodfriend’s diplomatic immunity. The United States said it would not do so and as such the Hungarian government withdrew the case.

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