OLAF: “Alleged fraud and irregularities” at the development of metro line M4
Hirtv.hu writes that, after investigating the period between 2006 and 2015, OLAF decided that Hungary should pay back approximately 93 billion HUF of the contribution money given for the metro line M4. The Supreme Court and the Ministry of National Development confirmed the news that they received the analysis of OLAF (anti-fraud office), but did not give further information.
The implementation of the investment to build the M4 was accompanied by continuous delays and irregularities: the very first train ran through the tunnel after a four-year-long delay. Furthermore, when applying for the EU contribution, a traffic of about 300-350 thousand passengers per day was promised, yet M4 failed to live up to that expectation.
And now the EU is checking the promised undertaking, and according to Politico, Hír Tv writes that the failure to fulfil the undertaking may cost a 93 billion HUF for Budapest. OLAF sent a report of 104 pages to the Hungarian Government and the Law Enforcement Agencies, in which they recommend the repayment of that money to the European Commission and the European Investment Bank.
Moreover, the report also contains a judicial recommendation, but Géza Fazekas, spokesperson of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Hungary said that there is already an investigation in process by the Central Chief Prosecution Office, therefore, there is no need for starting a new one. Also, the investigated period includes PM Orbán’s administration and the Socialist government’s.
But the Socialists say that the reason of M4 going under-capacity is that the Fidesz stopped the implementation of the second stage of the line, which would have otherwise resulted in the passenger number necessary for the EU contribution.
The Ministry of National Development confirmed that they received the report, but could not give any further information as long as they have not analysed it to the details.
Copy editor: bm
Source: hirtv.hu, politico.eu