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Paks nuclear deal completed

December 11th, 2014

As the government completes the Paks nuclear deal agreement, the leading left-wing daily demands more transparency. A conservative analyst claims that only nuclear power plants can provide the cheap energy Hungary needs.

On Tuesday, the government announced that it had completed the expansion deal for the Paks nuclear power station by signing three important contracts with the Russian Rosatom company related to the construction and maintenance of the site. The details of the contracts have been classified as state secrets.

Népszabadság in a front-page editorial criticizes the government for deliberately hiding the details of the Paks nuclear deal. “A lack of transparency usually correlates with the degree of corruption,” the leading left-wing daily remarks. As the contracts will not be public and even the detailed construction costs are kept secret, the wasting of public money and even corruption cannot be ruled out, Népszabadság suspects.

The Hungarian economy needs cheap energy to continue its recovery, Csaba Erdősi comments in Magyar Nemzet. As green energy costs ‘nearly three times’ as much as electricity produced in the Paks nuclear plant, wind power is not an alternative to nuclear energy, Erdősi suggests. In an aside, Erdősi writes that the government’s decision to classify the details of the contract will not be helpful in dismissing criticism by opponents of the Paks deal. Erdősi nonetheless hopes that the European Commission will soon give a green light to the deal so that construction can start without delay.

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