Budapest, March 4 (MTI) – Between 2010 and 2013 the state has spent 657 billion forints (EUR 2.1bn) on buying stakes in companies and wasting taxpayers’ money in the process, opposition E-PM politician Gabor Scheiring told a news conference today.
In the meantime, the business partners of Prime Minister Viktor Orban have “done very well” out of the deals, he insisted.
The lawmaker qualified by parliamentary rules as an independent, noted among the purchases the state’s stake in oil and gas company MOL, which falls into the category of a “straightforward loss”, given that the stake cost 500 billion forints and that “to the present day, there is now a non-realised loss of around 214 billion forints” for the state.
Scheiring said the “political gambling” has cost the taxpayers billions in other ways, as, for example, when it bought the gas businesses of E.ON and MOL. In the case of E.ON 260 billion had been set aside in the budget. According to the estimates of experts, the state massively overpaid for the business, he said, adding that the goal of the prime minister had been to free up gas contained in reserves in order to artificially push down prices.
Among the “gentleman’s hobbies” of Orban, he mentioned the purchase of Ferencvaros soccer stadium and related construction costing the state 12.4 billion forints.
Fidesz, responding to the charges in a statement, said that unlike the previous government led by Ferenc Gyurcsany, the current government had been making efforts to “regain”, maintain and further develop national assets. By contrast, the Gyurcsany-led government merely “sold off, stole and privatised” them, Fidesz said.