MPs approve legislation classifying Paks deal confidential for 30 years

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The Hungarian Parliament voted today to classify some of the data contained in the contracts for the expansion on Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant in Paks to remain confidential for a period of 30 years, extended from the previously set 15 years.

The legislation was passed with 130 voting in favor and 62 voting against.

The issue has raised many concerns over the past few weeks sparking debates in Parliament. Cabinet Chief János Lázár said yesterday it was “entirely the same” if the Paks deal is made confidential for 15 years or 30, insisting that the entire debate is “theoretical and pointless” as there is “no single” nuclear contract in the world that has been made public.

According to ruling Fidesz party, given that the Paks expansion serves energy security, keeping documents confidential serves Hungary's national security. The amendment extended the period of confidentiality from 15 years, already up from the standard ten years, in the original bill submitted to Parliament at the beginning of December, Hungarian news agency MTI earlier noted.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said earlier that the country is against the European Union's plan to oversee intergovernmental energy agreements created by member states. "We will have a major problem. I am expecting an escalating conflict," Dow Jones and Reuters quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

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