Budapest, August 8 (MTI) – The human resources ministry on Monday rejected allegations by the opposition Socialist Party that it was involved in a scheme to take bribes from social cooperatives in exchange for favours in their bids for EU money.
Political weekly 168 Óra said last week that in 2015 Fidesz MP Roland Mengyi had solicited bribes from social cooperatives in exchange for preferential treatment in the bidding process for EU funding.
Earlier on Monday the Socialist Party demanded that Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog reveal “when and from whom” he had found out about Mengyi’s “dealings” and what sort of ministry investigation he plans to launch.
The human resources ministry rejected the Socialist Party’s accusations in a statement, saying that the party “is trying to smear the ministry citing press reports”. The ministry said the bids for Social Renewal Operative Programme funds mentioned in 168 Óra’s article were rejected by the ministry. Since there were no grant agreements signed, there was no way for the EU funds to be misused, the ministry argued.
Mengyi himself also denied the accusations in a statement last week and said he would be willing to relinquish his immunity if it helps the investigation or if prosecutors request it.
Opposition LMP co-leader Bernadett Szél said last week that she would initiate a special session of parliament’s national security committee to listen to audio recordings police made during their investigation of the case.
Socialist lawmaker Balázs Bárány said the party would file a criminal complaint against Mengyi for abuse of office and fraud and demanded that the Fidesz MP resign with immediate effect. He added that his party would turn to the EU’s anti-fraud authority over the matter.