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MSzP files complaint with EC on E.ON sale

Telco

The European Commission (EC) has sent to the Hungarian authorities a complaint filed regarding the Hungarian state’s purchase of the Hungarian gas business of E.ON last autumn, EC spokesman Antoine Colombani has informed national news service MTI.

The complaint was filed by opposition socialist party MSzP, which claims that the government paid far over the realistic value for the E.ON business, thus the purchase can be classified as state financing prohibited by European Union regulations.

The EC step is general practice, and is designed for the Hungarian government to formulate its position on the complaint, Colombani said.

MSzP party president and would-be prime minister Attila Mesterházy announced in Parliament in mid-November that his party would appeal to the EC to “return taxpayers’ money” on the deal. Mesterházy argued that the Hungarian state had paid HUF 280 billion for the gas business valued at a mere HUF 110 billion and spent another HUF 60 billion on storage facilities.

The state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM) paid HUF 281 billion for the Hungary-based natural gas business of Germany-based electricity company E.ON in a deal closed October 1, 2013. MVM paid HUF 260 billion for the business and an additional HUF 21 billion for the company’s cash stocks and tax refunds.

-- material from MTI was used in this article

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