A Vintage train for Orbán’s hometown – Benedek Jávor demands investigation
A ”tourist attraction” vintage railway was built in Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s hometown of Felcsút, at a cost of €2 million for 30 passengers per day.
Benedek Jávor has turned to OLAF [European Anti-Fraud Office] as well as the European Commission’s Regional Directorate to investigate the matter of the unused Felcsút small-gauge railway. 80% of the €2 million was covered by EU funds, and according to Benedek Jávor, this investment does not serve the interests of Hungarian taxpayers or the EU.
This hobby project of the Prime Minister travels between Vikor Orbán’s hometown of Felcsút (a town with 1,700 inhabitants, and the location of the 3,500-seat Puskás football stadium) and Alcsút, a small neighbouring village. The train is said to go from nowhere to nowhere.
The early application submitted for EU funds suggested that 2,500-7,000 passengers would use the line daily. As Mr. Benedek Jávor told the Telegraph: “The Hungarian government intentionally reported false data, as it was crystal clear even at the time of submitting the application that the estimated numbers are totally absurd and unrealistic. This is cheating and fraud which should be investigated by EU bodies.” Benedek Jávor asked for the documentations of original applications, which were not initially provided.
Later, Hungarian state secretary, Nándor Csepreghy, provided documents that 27 to 28 passengers would use the train line daily. If this is the original documentation, then, it is still unclear how it was possible to finance such a project. Benedek Jávor has asked various ministries to provide information on the expected pay-off time of the project. He has not received concrete answers yet.