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Hungary may lose €140 million in grants from Norway

Int’l Relations

Norway does not recognize the Hungarian Government Control Office’s (KEHI) report on Hungarian NGO Ökotárs Alapítvány, Norwegian ambassador Tove Skarstein revealed in an interview with commercial news channel ATV on Wednesday. 

The Norwegian government appointed an independent British audit firm to carry out the due diligence after KEHI suspected fraud and malpractice, among other charges, at Ökotárs.

Responding to the reporter’s question Skarstein told ATV that Századvég (an NGO widely considered close to governing party FIDESZ) also applied for partnership with the NGO Fund of the Norway Grants for the distribution of grants in Hungary, but they were not short-listed because they were considered too close to the government and did not have enough relevant experience.

Norway has already suspended distribution of major grants to Hungary and in the event that Ökotárs cannot continue working with the Norway grants as a result of KEHI’s investigation, Hungary may eventually lose €140 million in grant money, the ambassador said.

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