EU Commission stops payments to Hungary over corruption, irregularities

EU Commission stops payments to Hungary over corruption, irregularities
17 April 2015

BUDAPEST (ANSA) - The European Commission has suspended payments to Hungary from the regional fund, over suspected corrption and irregularities in the awarding of tenders.

This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Janos Lazar, who added that the Hungarian Government is ready to play its part to clarify whether any fraud or irregularity has occurred. Projects totaling 451 million euros are under the spotlight.

After the inspections which were carried out last year, the EC pointed out that projects and works were valued far above market prices. As a result of this stop, the Hungarian Government had to suspend the construction of a motorway, already funded by the EU, and is likely to have to repay millions of euros to Europe, if the ongoing investigation will confirm suspicions.

The suspension of funds is an unprecedented measure that heavily affects Victor Orban's leadership. The Hungarian government is trying to play down the importance of this case, pledging that no funds will be wasted. ''Companies close to the government and Fidesz, with their fake prices, are charging Europe a lot more than they should do, and are wasting billions due to corruption'', according to daily newspaper Nepszabadsag.

Source: ANSA.