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Court decided against transparency in the Vértesi Power Plant case

After a refused data request, we filed a lawsuit against state owned Vértesi Erőmű Zrt., a coal fueled power plant to disclose its contract with System Consulting Zrt. System Consulting, owned by László Kapolyi, former MP of the Hungarian Socialist Party was about to privatise the ageing power plant in 2008, and contracted it for buying 250 MW power. This demand exceeded the capacity of Vértesi Erőmű Zrt., so the power plant bought the missing quantity from traders. System Consulting withdrew its order, and Vértesi Erőmű faced a ca 70 million euro payment obligation, what had to be fulfilled by the Hungarian state.

The first-instance court accepted our arguments, but the second-instance court turned down our data request, saying that there is only an indirect state ownership in Vértes Erőmű and in narrow sense it is not state-owned. This argument is surprising, since Vértes Erőmű is the subsidiary of the state-owned MVM Zrt. This decision of the court suggests that management of state-owned companies can easily avoid the obligation of disclosure of public data by establishing a subsidiary. Atlatszo.hu requests a review from the Supreme Court.

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