July 6th, 2017

Romanian EU commissioner: our prime minister would be jailed if public procurements were awarded to his son-in-law

Corina Cretu, the Romanian member of the European Commission told a press conference that in her country the prime minister would go to prison if his son-in-law was awarded a series of public procurements funded by the European Union. Cretu also said that the EU was going to be stricter on awarding its funds and monitoring the spending of those, reports hirtv.hu.

The commissioner reacted to a question that clearly inquired about István Tiborcz’s – the son-in-law of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán – extraordinary winning streak at public procurement with his lighting facilities company during 2014 and 2015, which even raised the curiosity of OLAF, the EU’s anti-fraud office. Cretu said in reply: “Did you mean Hungary? Well, that is the only country where we can see this system operating in general. If this happened in my country, the one who awarded a public procurement to a relative would be arrested the next day. But it also depends on the system of given country.”

Cretu also said the EU was going to monitor more closely both awarding and spending its funds. Although OLAF can only make proposals in the light of its findings, the soon-to- be-established European Prosecution is going to have much wider licences, even though Hungary’s government opposed its setting up. The European Commission also introduced its proposals about the funding policies for the period after 2020 last week. These also include the possibility of making the respect of rule of law a condition for the payment of funds.

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