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Economy Minister Rejects Calls To Sack NAV Chief

Tamás Székely 2014.11.11.

Vida will stay in her post, economy minister Mihály Varga told Hungarian public radio on Monday despite thousands protested  for her removal in front of the NAV headquarters in Budapest on Sunday. Vida has been accused by the US without any evidence, Varga said and added that dismissing her from her office would be “the worst option”.

Mihály Varga insisted that the entry ban imposed by the United States was a cover for “some political motive”, and repeated the government’s request to US authorities to share their reasons for the ban. The US authorities should indicate the case in which Vida is allegedly involved and Hungary will star an investigation without delay, the minister said. However, the US embassy declines to provide any documents or other evidence to support the corruption allegations involving Vida.

Meanwhile the head of the tax office NAV visited the US embassy on Monday morning to ask why she had been banned from visiting the US but she got no answer. Ildikó Vida visited the embassy with her legal representative Barnabás Futó without previous arrangements to learn about the evidence for corruption allegations. “We did not find out anything, we were informed that this is a visa issue,” Vida told news channel HírTV.  In her interpretation, this means that if she were to apply for a US visa, the immigration authorities would assess her application and then decide whether to grant her a visa.

Vida told daily Magyar Nemzet last week that she was one of the persons at NAV who had been informed by the US embassy that they were blacklisted on the basis of a presidential order banning entry to persons involved in or profiting from corruption. Ildikó Vida confirmed that the ban affected further persons but she did not mention any names. She said that she and her colleagues were ready to undergo any form of professional investigation.

via photo: Lajos Soós – MTI