Közgép (a building company owned by Hungarian tycoon Lajos Simicska) has a glorious story as it made a profit of HUF 3 billion last year. It is also interesting to consider how such an unknown company wins many tenders and gains access to EU funds. Közgép’s ownership structure is still not fully known. By chance, it has just been discovered that Közgép is owned by Simicska. It proves he has been successful in the private sector after leaving his former position as head of the national tax agency. Apart from his prosperous activity in the construction business he has also become a major player in the advertising market. The orders received by Simicska related companies total almost HUF 300 billion.
Democratic Coalition contacted the EU body OLAF (The European Anti-Fraud Office) in order to investigate Közgép’s applications in respect of public procurements. Democratic Coalition asked Lászlóné Németh, minister of national development to make Közgép’s orders transparent. Ferenc Gyurcsány sent a letter to Giovanni Kessler, head of OLAF, in which he described the situation. The Hungarian construction industry is experiencing a great depression, while Közgép shows a high-scale growth and is backed by the Hungarian Development Bank with a preferential credit deal.
Who would conduct an honest investigation? Would it be the State Audit Office or the Prosecution Service? Both of them are managed by Fidesz related personnel. There need not be delinquency in the Közgép’s success but it is important to clarify the situation as Hungary has to pay back billions if the EU funds are used in an inappropriate way.