Budapest, August 1 (MTI) – The National Development Ministry has handed over the documents of a national tender for tobacco concession to the leftist Democratic Coalition (DK), which successfully sued the ministry for the information.
In a statement on Friday, the ministry said that the documents – filling folders of a total 14 metres – contain the bids submitted for the tender and the evaluation records by location, with the names of the bidders erased.
In its statement, the ministry repeated an earlier position that changes to the retail trade of tobacco products had been motivated by a desire to discourage young people from smoking, and said that the government’s efforts had been successful. While 58 percent of young people could buy such products before the introduction of the new system in July last year, that ratio has now been reduced to below 12 percent, the ministry insisted.
On behalf of DK, party director Laszlo Varju received the documents, and said that they would soon be made public with regard to privacy rights.
Opposition parties have sharply criticised the government for nationalising Hungary’s tobacco trade, and accused the ruling parties of offering the concessions to family members or friends of officials.