Budapest, April 26 (MTI) – Parliament on Tuesday approved revised amendments to the central bank act that narrow the exceptions under which foundations and companies established by the National Bank of Hungary are exempted from disclosure rules.
Amendments to the act approved earlier by MPs were referred to the Constitutional Court by President János Áder. The court ruled late in March that some provisions exempting such entities from disclosure rules applying to publicly funded institutions were unconstitutional.
Lawmakers approved the revised amendments with 112 votes for, 61 against and no abstentions.
The opposition Socialists proposed an action plan concerning the central bank’s foundations. Bertalan Tóth, the party’s deputy group leader, told a press conference that not only the foundations but their companies should be scrutinised by the State Audit Office and also urged a parliamentary investigation. He called on the foundations concerned to release all data requested by his party.
According to the Együtt (Together) party, the ruling parties have changed the law so that it provides further opportunities “to hide” information on how public funds are spent. Levente Pápa, Együtt’s deputy leader, said it was “hypocritical” to restrict the publicity of information concerning public companies citing laws applicable to private businesses.
Meanwhile, the leftist Democratic Coalition (DK) called on Péter Polt, the chief prosecutor, to investigate the lawfulness of central bank foundations in which his wife was a board member. László Varjú, DK’s deputy leader, insisted that Polt’s wife, who is head of the supervisory board of one foundation and a board member of another, “must have been aware of public funds being distributed within the family”. He went on to say that Polt himself probably knew what was happening in those foundations.