At a press conference held on Saturday Fidesz MP Szilard Nemeth accused DK chairman and former Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany of complicity in the alleged embezzlement of HUF 80 million (USD 500,000) from the state-owned company that owns and operates the Paks nuclear power plant. According to Nemeth the Hungarian Electric Works paid HUF 80 million between October 1997 and July 1998 to Agora Kft., one of several consulting companies owned at the time by Altus Kft., Ferenc Gyurcsany’s investment company.
Napi.hu speculates whether Nemeth raised this issue in response to Gyurcsany formally initiating a parliamentary investigation the previous day into the wealth of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. An equally plausible explanation is that the announcement was an attempt by Fidesz to discredit Gyurcsany only hours before he was scheduled to give a campaign speech formally launching DK’s 2014 election campaign.
According to Nemeth, the Paks nuclear power plant concluded a contract with Agora Kft. to advise it on ways to garner public support for the use of nuclear power. According to Nemeth, apart from the money wired in full to Agora Kft. in ten monthly installments of HUF 8 million each, there is no trace of Agora Kft. having performed any work. “We can not only speak of hypocrisy, but also ask Ferenc Gyurcsany whether he concluded a phony contract” which, according to Nemeth, is “enveloped by the suspicion of corruption”.
As proof of this Nemeth offered a 1999 report prepared by the power plant’s supervisory board objecting to the fact that the contract did not specify what tasks were to be performed by Agora which, in any case, was not required to submit a written account of its work. Nemeth further reports that the board objected to the high monthly fee and the fact that Agora had not been required to undergo the same security clearance as other suppliers.
According to Nemeth, Fidesz expects Gyurcsany to “acknowledge that the attack of the past weeks on the expansion of Paks was a hypocritical and lying political action” and to answer “whether the HUF 80 million was used for his personal happiness or to enrich MSZP party coffers”. Nemeth further noted that the contract was concluded at the time of the Bokros austerity program when families with children received no maternity benefits or family supports whose per capita income exceeded HUF 26,200.
(Editor: Although one would be hard pressed to support a family of four today on HUF 104,800 a month, in 1998 this was considered a more than adequate amount. A growing body of anecdotal evidence suggests Ferenc Gyurcsany may have been involved either directly or indirectly in funneling illegal campaign contributions to the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) during the Socialist government of Gyula Horn (1994-1998)).
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