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Did Andy Vajna use public funds to purchase TV2?

Hungarian opposition leaders are eager to know whether Andy Vajna bought TV2 with Hungarian public funds funneled through the state-owned Eximbank, Hungary’s import-export bank. Citing sources close to the transaction, Hungarian news site 444.hu puts the total purchase price at around HUF 20 billion (USD 70 million). A Freedom of Information request filed with Eximbank was rejected.

Szabolcs Szabó, an opposition politician representing Együtt (Together), submitted the same question to Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó last week. Technically, Eximbank is owned by Hungary’s Foreign Ministry and is responsible for the HUF 627 billion in capital the company controls.

Szijjártó shot down Szabó’s questions by citing a string of laws in Hungary that prevent even him – the Foreign Minister – from sharing banking and insurance secrets.

A press release by Együtt says the party will be turning to the National Data Protection and Freedom of Information Agency to challenge Szijjártó’s silence. The party argues that it isn’t interested in the specific details surrounding an individual loan, but instead wants to see the ministry’s role in deciding large loan amounts — which the party feels should be public information.

Benjamin Novak :