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In the crossfire of corruption allegations

December 11th, 2015

As Parliament amends the law on public procurement tenders and former PM Gyurcsány’s company wins an EU assignment, columnists fling accusations of corruption at Right and Left.

Last week, Parliament amended the Public Procurement Act. Among other changes, the amendments stipulate that relatives of government officials who do not live in the same household with the official in question will be allowed to bid for public procurement contracts.

On Tuesday, the European Commission announced that an international consortium led by former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány’s company has won another €400,000 assignment to report on Polish development projects (see BudaPost May 6).

In Magyar Idők, Ottó Gajdics suspects that the European Commission had the idea of a ‘United States of Europe’ in mind when it offered a lucrative contract to former PM Gyurcsány’s company. The pro-government columnist speculates that PM Gyurcsány was assigned the task of criticizing the newly elected Polish government, which wants to put national interest first rather than promoting further centralization and integration in Europe.

The government’s alleged fight against corruption is a bad joke, Tamás Bihari in Népszava comments on the latest amendment to the public procurement law. The left-wing pundit suspects that the new amendments are intended to help the relatives of government officials to win profitable public assignments.

Sadly, accusations both on Left and Right are mostly substantiated, András Stumpf writes on Mandiner. In the increasingly polarized political battle, both Right and Left channel public funds to finance their hinterland, Stumpf contends. Although corruption is a bad thing in itself, Stump finds it even more disappointing that the ideologically divided and partisan public does not seem to care too much about the misuse of public resources.

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