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22nd December, 2017

EU money ups corruption, study finds

The inflow of EU support funds has significantly increased corruption in the public sector in Hungary, the Corruption Research Centre Budapest (CRCB) said on Thursday, based on its study of 151,475 public procurement procedures between 2009-2016.

“EU funding has perverse effects in Hungary in public procurement; it has helped reduce the intensity of competition, increased the level of corruption risk and the weight of price distortion,” CRCB said in its report prepared for the European Commission. In 2016, there was only one bidder at 28% of the public procurements, which indicates a high risk of corruption, it added.

It estimated that the direct social loss due to weak competition and high level of corruption risks during the eight-year period amounted to Ft 2-3.3 trillion, equalling 15-24% of the total spending via public procurement.

That is the amount the winners have pocketed on top of their justified costs, with the help of the government, 444 and Napi said.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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