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Budapest council sells ‘Whale’ to state for HUF 11.2 bln

Parliament

Budapest Municipal Council voted Wednesday to sell the Bálna Budapest Commercial and Cultural Center, a distinctive building on the Pest bank of the Danube near Liberty Bridge, known in English as the "Whale," to the state for a net HUF 11.2 billion.   

Hungarian National Asset Management Inc. (MNV) will pay the purchase price to the city when the title is transferred, no later than June 30, 2019, state news agency MTI reported.

The MNV will pay HUF 3.0 bln in VAT on the purchase directly to the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV).   

Budapest Mayor István Tarlós responded to complaints over the measure by opposition council members by noting that the October 2010 deadline for completing the building was not met, and that city leaders were left to deal with seven or eight lawsuits related to the investment. 

The Whale, constructed in a public-private partnership (PPP), was inaugurated in late 2013.

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