Civil organization requests withdrawal of Eximbankʼs loan to Vajna
The Free Market Foundation (Szabad Piac Alapítvány) has written an open letter to the CEO of Hungarian Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) requesting that the bank withdraw its HUF 6.72 billion loan to a company owned by government commissioner for the film industry Andy Vajna for the purchase of commercial television station TV2. The letter was posted in its entirety on the “kapitalizmus” blog of online daily hvg.hu this morning.
The letter, written by the foundation’s Director Máté Hajba, highlights the conflicting remarks of Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó who reportedly said that “state funds will not be used to fund the purchase of any media outlets” the letter quoted the minster as saying.
An issue was also raised in the letter regarding the actual ownership of the station, which is currently being contested in court by Károly Fonyó, who reportedly acquired a pre-purchase option for the station at the end of 2013.
The key concern, as the letter goes on to read, is that this loan does not fit the lending profile of Eximbank. As stated on the bank’s website, its aim is to “serve Hungarian exporters through the provision of effective financing and insurance facilities”. Vajna, however, is not an exporter, the foundation’s director writes, adding that providing credit to Vajna also goes against the bank’s stated objective “of facilitating the sale of Hungarian goods and services in foreign markets”.
Hajba has raised questions about the ethical nature of the transaction between Eximbank and Vajna’s company (Magyar Broadcasting Co. Kft.) and is asking that the bank withdraw the loan, in part because of the reportedly unethical nature of Vajna’s dealings with offshore companies and his close ties to the ruling Fidesz party that have allegedly amended laws to favor Vajna’s business ventures, the letter says.
The Free Market Foundation is a civil organization whose mandate is to support competition in a free market economy and to prevent corrupt practices within that system.
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