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MSZP blamed in defence of the tobacco-shop decisions

May 21st, 2013
A pro-government daily claims that the tobacco shop scandal and demands to reveal details of the evaluation process of rival bids is simply a trick that helps the MSZP draw up a list of “collaborators” with the present government – with the intention of punishing them later.
The new system under which the sale of tobacco will be restricted to 5400 licensed stores will come into force on July 1st. Many critics have questioned the fairness of the procedure and suspected politically motivated corruption behind the choice of successful bidders. The few right-wing comments which have appeared on the issue have been unusually critical. (See BudaPost, May 13)  . The opposition has urged the authorities to release the text of the applications and the reports which explain the decisions taken. The Prime Minister said the latter will be released when the contracts have been concluded with the winners.
In the first press commentary which takes up the defence of the decision makers, Magyar Nemzet’s David Magyar claims that the „hunt” for beneficiaries of various government decisions is part of a ’pathological’ plan to take revenge on all those who have benefited from the rule of the right-wing government. In addition to opposition criticism of tobacco store concessions, he also mentions the scandal around land-lease contracts sparked by the resignation of an undersecretary who claimed “oligarchs” were being favoured instead of local farmers (See BudaPost May 14 and September 28, 2012) The drive for transparency is only a pretext, he says, part of “a people’s court procedure” whereby Socialists would like to determine what degree of kinship counts as irreconcilable with winning at public tenders. After all, what will happen to those who have at least three grandparents with Fidesz sympathies – he asks. Does it not recall the logic behind the Numerberg laws? Magyar concludes.  Despite all the campaign around these two cases, the MSZP could not improve its poor showing either in recent by-elections or in opinion polls.

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