Lázár: Közgép was owner of Elios, and as such bears ultimate responsibility
The date and method of the publication of the OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office) report on the case of Elios Innovatív Zrt. are part of a political campaign, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said on Monday in Hódmezővásárhely.
The timing of the OLAF report was politically motivated, and is solely about the election campaign, János Lázár said at a press conference. He added that the case had emerged now, seven to eight years after the completion of the public lighting development, due to the election campaign, and is on the agenda solely in order to drag the Prime Minister into a scandal.
The modernisation of the Hódmezővásárhely public lighting system – the first one implemented in the country – is a development which operates to the highest standards, provides energy savings for the city and results in improved lighting for residents, the politician stressed.
Mr Lázár recalled that in 2008, during his term in office as mayor, there were 6,700 public lighting luminaires in Hódmezővásárhely. The electricity company Démász refused to modernise the system the operation of which cost HUF 100 million annually. A call for proposals of the Bajnai government paved the way for the development, as part of which municipalities were free to choose the technology they wished to employ.
At that time, there was no business in the country that had implemented LED public lighting modernisation projects on public premises before. Three applicants entered the public procurement, including Tungsram-Schréder Zrt. with a bid for HUF 800 million, and the municipality accepted an offer for HUF 577 million made by the company that is now called Elios Innovatív Zrt., the minister told the press.
Tungsram as the supplier of the awarded business manufactured the LED luminaires for HUF 340 million, and as a result, the city benefited from this arrangement, the politician stressed, adding that the tender was also investigated by the public procurement authority. A forensic report on the modernisation of public lighting in Hódmezővásárhely has been prepared which the municipality will publish on its website, the minister said.
Last December OLAF sent the municipality a series of technical comments comprised of eight points which are not featured in the final report. The prosecution service will have to decide on some of the suspected breaches concerning other settlements that were mentioned in the report, while the European Commission will have to decide on others, the politician said.
Mr Lázár stressed that Közgép was the owner of the company during the period under investigation, and therefore, should the European Commission decide on a net adjustment, the ultimate responsibility will also lie with that company.