Hungary Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga: There are no strings on me!

February 16, 2015

Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga told ATV on Sunday that even though public tenders issued in Hungary ensure ample opportunity for contractors to bid, “it would be good if more Hungarian companies could win public procurement tenders.”

In response to whether the tendency for Lajos Simicska-owned Közgép to win public contracts would continue after last week’s very public falling out between the Fidesz oligarch and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Varga claimed that as “an EU member state, Hungary issues public tenders according to a strict protocol and procedures,” and that anyone can know and dispute the results of public procurement decisions.

As to whether he thought it was good if companies other than Közgép won public construction tenders, Varga answered:

“Without doubt there are large companies in the construction industry as well that can undertake many such large projects, and can bid on many public procurement procedures, and it would be good if in addition to the mentioned company other companies could expand in the construction industry as a Hungarian company.”

Minister Varga confirmed that it is the government’s intention to privatize its holdings in Erste Bank, MKB and Budapest Bank within three years (i.e. just before the 2018 elections!-ed.) and it would seek to do so in a way that leaves over 50 percent of the domestic bank sector in Hungarian hands.