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Casino investors accept invitation to meet with finance minister

The investor Joav Blum, who represents a group of investors who plan to build a HUF 275 billion casino and resort on the shore of Hungary's Lake Velence, said in a statement sent to MTI they would be happy to accept the finance minister's invitation to talks.

The investors hope that “the long negotiations with official authorities and government representatives” planted the seed for an investment that would become a “spectacular icon” for Hungary, Blum said.

Finance Minister Péter Oszkó asked in a letter for a personal meeting with Blum about an exchange of land that has become the source of public indignation, MTI learnt after obtaining a copy of the letter on Friday. Oszkó said in the letter that a solution had to be found for legal worries as well as public indignation about the exchange of the property, and that he wanted to hear about the events from the investor's stand as well as listen to his proposed solutions. The state audit office ÁSz deemed the contract legally invalid in an assessment, he added.

Blum earlier exchanged farm land he owned along the planned route of road no. 4 for a state-owned plot on the banks of Lake Valence. Blum, together with a group of foreign and Hungarian investors, plan to build a €1.5 billion resort and casino on the site.

ÁSz said only a fraction of the farm land Blum owned was necessary for the road, and this could have been expropriated by the state.

In the statement sent to MTI on Wednesday, Blum said, “To the best of our knowledge, neither the state audit office nor the attorney's office established that any regulations were broken.” (MTI –Econews)