Altus-led consortium to supervise use of EU funds in member states

April 20, 2015

Dobcsev

DK chairman and independent MP Ferenc Gyurcsány with his wife and business partner, Klára Dobrev

It turns out that a company belonging to former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and his second wife has been contracted by the European Commission to supervise the use of European Union funds in Hungary during the 2014-2021 funding cycle.

Deputy state secretary Nándor Csepreghy held a press conference on Sunday in front of parliament to call attention to the Office of the Prime Minister’s dissatisfaction with the European Commission’s decision to enter into such an agreement with a company whose owner is a former prime minister and current opposition politician.

Csepreghy said the European Commission should have instead awarded a project of this kind to a large multinational auditing company instead of to the small Hungarian company.

No one in Hungary seriously believes that Ferenc Gyurcsány, president of the Democratic Coalition, would be capable of performing an objective and unbiased professional job, said Csepreghy.

Gyurcsány’s company was incorporated in 1992 and paved the road for his transformation from Hungarian communist youth leader to “a Rose Hill proletariat,” said Csepreghy, referring to one of Buda’s most exclusive residential neighborhoods where Gyurcsány resides.

(Csepreghy made no mention of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s role as a KISZ general secretary in his youth).

He told reporters that several government ministries were contacted by employees of the company, Altus, recently and presented with documents showing it was contracted to supervise the use of EU funds by the European Commission.

Gyurcsány’s wife Klára Dobrev and a former vice-president of the National Development Agency are two of the company’s four employees, Csepreghy said.

Dobrev, the owner of Altus, says the company was awarded the contract as the leader of a consortium of international companies, including companies from Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia. The contract covers reviewing how EU money has been spent in the 2014-2020 period and covers all EU Member States.

Gyurcsány responds with press statement

“It pleases me to see that the Fidesz government is trying to blame me for their corrupt management of European Union tenders,” Gyurcsány said. “I have no choice but to inform the government that it is lost in the woods. Last week the public became aware of the fact that HUF 700 billion in EU subsidies had been suspended for Hungary due to the suspicion of serious corruption since 2010. This has absolutely nothing to do with a company that I own, Altus Zrt., which is the lead company in a consortium of international firms awarded a contract as part of an open international call for tenders to analyze and assess all programs and documents related to EU-funded projects in all 28 European Union countries. I have no choice but to inform my Fidesz colleagues that they have seriously miscalculated and have problems understanding how numbers work.”

Referenced in this article:

Csepreghy: az Európai Bizottság „hálapénzt” ad Gyurcsánynak, ATV.hu; 19 April 2015.