Napi Gazdaság, whose publisher, Napi Gazdaság Kiadó Kft., was acquired in April by former Magyar Nemzet editor-in-chief Gábor Liszkay, announced on Tuesday that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s son-in-law, István Tiborcz, had sold all of his shares in companies winning public tenders, including Elios Innovatív Zrt., on April 28th.
The pro-government newspaper cites no source. Nor does it mention who the buyer was. It merely reports that Tiborcz made the decision “due to continuous criticism of him and his family.”
Police reportedly opened an investigation into Elios Zrt. in March this year after online investigative news portal átlátszó.hu revealed at the end of 2014 that the company had won nearly HUF 3 billion of public lighting tenders in 2014. This month it was revealed that the company had won another HUF 3 billion of public lighting tenders in the first four months of 2015.
Daily news portal nol.hu points out, however, that according to company registry court information available online, Tiborcz continues to be an owner of Elios Innovatív Zrt., the company which over the past three years has been awarded tens of billions of forints of public contracts to modernize public lighting systems, largely at EU taxpayer expense. In many cases it was either the only bidder or was awarded the contract without a public procurement tender being issued.
During a parliamentary debate on Tuesday, opposition parliamentarian András Schiffer called on Orbán to explain whether he played any role in influencing the call for tenders that happened to result in his son-in-law’s business success.
Orbán said no one should enjoy an advantage or be disadvantaged because of who they know, where they’re from, or what their political views are.
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