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Párbeszéd Calls Paks Upgrade ‘Debt Trap’

Miklós Halász-Szabó 2018.09.19.

The opposition Párbeszéd party has called for the contract for the upgrade of the Paks nuclear plant to be scrapped.

Referring to recent talks in Moscow between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President Vladimir Putin, Párbeszéd MEP Benedek Jávor said the government “has steered the country into a serious debt trap”.

“Viktor Orbán made clear yesterday that this investment is … a purely political enterprise aiming to secure Russia’s friendship,” Jávor told a press conference on Wednesday.

Hungary will start paying back the Russian loan for the upgrade of the project, which is now three years behind schedule, in 2026, he said. Paks 2 is unlikely to become operational before the 2030s, he added.

Jávor insisted the 12 billion euro price tag was the “price paid for Russia’s support of Orbán’s political ambitions in the EU.”

After his meeting with Putin on Tuesday, Orbán said “difficulties and technical issues” were hampering the project’s implementation and referred to European Union “bureaucratic practices which Russia is unfamiliar with”. He added that the upgrade would not only benefit bilateral ties but also energy relations between Russia and Europe.

via MTI