What’s the hurry?

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To our knowledge, the European Commission initiated at least two procedures in connection with the expansion of the Paks power plants: one concerns forbidden of state aid; the other that I initiated, concerning the absence of public procurement procedure. These procedures can end with the Commission’s demand towards Hungary to amend the agreement for the new nuclear power plant. Before the EC has pronounced its verdict in the on-going procedures, it is irresponsible to sign the three implementation agreements. A hurried signing procedure only suggests that what is important to the government has nothing to do with energy safety, but all the more with the “friendly” exploitation of 4000 billion Forints’ worth of public money. We do not see guarantees on how these implementation agreements can be repealed if requested from the Commission.

At the same time, even after the signing, there is no answer to the fundamental questions related to the expansion. We do not know how much the entire project will cost together with the relating investments, we do not know what electricity price could balance out the investment, it is not clear whether the cost of capital will be included in the investment or not, we do not know what will happen to the waste generated in the new blocks and we do not know how great of a financial risk the Hungarian government took with the early signing of the agreements.

In the last couple of weeks it became clear that Russia does not have the financial background to finance projects that are important to the country (e.g. the South Stream), that Putin is an unreliable business partner and that the West sees all Russia-related energy investment projects as an obvious safety risk.

What all this information underlines is that it was a severe mistake to sign premature agreements; meanwhile, with the proposal of the new Paks law, the government aims at limiting the publicity of information in connection with the Paks expansions even beyond the already restricted possibilities. Only those who have something to hide behave in such manner.

In order to unveil the secret, as of today, I submitted a request for the signed agreements before the government, with its legal authority, could make it impossible for us to know what it actually committed itself to in connection with the Paks investment.