Lázár: Hungarian government vows to expose details of Alstom payments
The Hungarian government is expected to publish all of the information in the coming days related to payments made by French engineering firm Alstom, Hungary’s Cabinet Chief János Lázár said yesterday according to reports. Alstom is currently under investigation on corruption and conspiracy charges.
During his weekly press conference, the minister said that “Budapestʼs former municipal leaders and Socialist government had become mixed up in an international criminal matter, dragging the country along with them”, Hungarian news agency reported. Lázár said that the “details must be cleared up”.
The cabinet chief was commenting on a scandal raised by an article published in government-friendly daily Magyar Idők, claiming that the companies of former Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy received €597,000 from French engineering company Alstom for consulting services. Medgyessy said that the “predecessor” of his company did in fact receive the sum, but that there was nothing wrong with the deal.
Alstom signed a contract to deliver 44 trains for two of the capitalʼs metro lines ten years ago, after winning a tender with a bid of €247 million, MTI said.
Britainʼs Serious Fraud Office recently charged the UK head of Alstom with corruption and conspiracy in connection with train contracts for the Budapest metro. Four senior managers at Alstom are being investigated regarding a transfer of €2.3 million to Hungary that was allegedly used promote the sale of underground railway cars to Budapest in 2006 and 2007, according to reports.
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