In a lengthy article in the main pro-government daily Budapest Mayor István Tarlós does not accuse his liberal predecessor of corruption, but finds his attempt to discredit the EU report on the Metro 4 project pathetic.
Former Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky told a liberal audience on Monday that the OLAF report alleging that 164 billion forints were spent in an irregular way to construct Metro line 4 was written to please PM Orbán. He added that the allegations contained in the report by the anti-fraud agency of the European Union were based on a document issued by Hungary’s Court of Auditors in 2010, after Fidesz’s electoral victory. Mr Demszky said that he was not to blame for what he considers the unfair allegations contained in the report.
In Magyar Idők, the incumbent mayor recalls that Mr Demszky consistently refused to submit the Metro 4 contracts to the municipal assembly despite repeated requests by Fidesz council members. That gigantic investment, he continues, was Mr Demszky’s pet project and he finds it ridiculous for the former Mayor to say that he was unaware of what was happening around it. At the same time he cautions against considering Mr Demszky legally responsible for criminal deeds. He also warns that it is a mistake to say (as it has often been said by politicians) that 164 billion Forints were stolen. That sum covers the total amount of EU subsidies in the project. Irregularities in the tenders concerned could have resulted in serious losses but not the loss of the entire amount.