“The Hungarian Government must repay 18 billion forints (EUR 58M) to the European Commission because of irregular public procurements relating to the establishment of the EMIR system”, the Government Communication Centre (GCC) announced on Sunday in response to a query from Hungarian news agency MTI.

“This is the second largest sum that Hungary must repay following the corruption scandal relating to the Metro 4 project”, the statement pointed out.

“The European Union has determined major discrepancies with relation to eight contracts concluded between 2003 and 2009”, the GCC explained.

“During the course of the investigation it was determined that the state bodies responsible awarded Welt 2000 Ltd. and various business circles the operations of the IT system that managed 12 trillion forints, in a manner that was contrary to the interests of the State of Hungary and constituted a serious breach of public procurement regulations”, the statement continues, adding that “The Hungarian Government must repay 18 billion forints as a result of these irregularities”.

On Thursday, head of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár announced that he had initiated legal action at the Chief Prosecutor’s Office against an unknown perpetrator with relation to the activities of Welt 2000 Ltd. in the period 2003-2009.

On Sunday, citing a draft report by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, news portal Origo wrote that three of the eight contracts for the establishment, operation and further development of the EMIR (Uniform Monitoring Information System) system were signed by Péter Heim, who was the Vice-President of the National Development Agency (NFÜ) and its legal predecessor in the period 2002-2007, after which he worked at several ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office. After the current Government came to office in 2010, he became Consulting Director at Altus Cls, which is one of the business interests of former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and his wife, Klára Dobrev.

Klára Dobrev was also one of the Vice Presidents of the legal predecessor to the NFÜ from 2002 until August 2004, and was responsible for the Monitoring Methodology Department that supervised the whole EMIR system. According to the minutes of the meetings of the responsible inter-ministerial committee for the period 2003-2004, the person responsible for agenda items relating to the EMIR system was always Klára Dobrev, Origo wrote. According to the article, Péter Heim and Klára Dobrev “played a determining role” in the EMIR affair and in the conclusion of the contracts with Welt 2000 Limited.

The sum to be repaid is 18 billion forints because Welt 2000 Ltd., which was awarded the task in 2004 in a closed negotiation procedure, was also awarded the right to the further development of the EMIR system, and this is the total sum of the orders it received since the system came into operation in 2004. The company’s majority owner and Managing Director was the since deceased András Komáromi, who was a Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) MP for Budapest’s 10th District (Kőbánya) during the period in question.

“In order to remedy the default”, the State of Hungary purchased Welt 2000 Limited’s business shares at the end of 2014, the article published by news portal Origo points out.