The Hungarian government has revealed that it has created a reserve in the budget for the payment of a possible EU penalty over the metro line 4 debacle.
According to Magyar Közlöny, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) found one third of the total budget of the metro line 4 project, 166 billion HUF, was stolen and embezzled, implicating the previous Socialist-led, national governments and Liberal leadership of the city of Budapest. Hungary will be required to repay the European Union some 59 billion HUF as expected.
“The responsibility of the Medgyessy, Gyurcsány and Bajnai governments and of the metropolitan leadership under Gábor Demszky clearly emerges in the closing report of the European Anti-Fraud Office regarding the biggest corruption scandal of the period that has elapsed since the fall of communism.” The government believes that this may be the most significant abuse of EU funds since 1990.
Due to the possible repayment of funds, the minister for National Economy will be required to create a reserve in next year’s budget by March. In doing so, the minister will ensure that this payment liability will not detrimentally affect educational, social, healthcare and family policy resources which are a particular priority for Hungarian citizens.
Last year, Hungary's government spokesperson revealed that is was the former government who landed the country in hot water surrounding the Metro 4 project scandal.
“The major cases of corruption indicated to Hungary by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) concern the previous, liberal and left-wing governments," Zoltán Kovács said.