picture of Gordon Bajnai

Gordon Bajnai (pictured), the former prime minister implicated in the pro-government press for his role in the City Hall affair, has described his side of the story, reports HVG.

A major story in the pro-government press in recent weeks has been that “[Budapest Mayor] Gergely Karácsony would sell City Hall,” backed up by documents published in Index and audio recordings provided by a masked person who calls himself Anonymous in several videos.

Budapest leadership has refuted all of the allegations. Karácsony has acknowledged that the sale of City Hall was brought up in a document, but it was ultimately rejected.

Bajnai expressed his side of the story in a Facebook post, where he said that this summer businessman Gyula Gansperger had approached him with the idea of introducing the politician to the leader of a group of companies working with Gansperger’s company, to which Bajnai agreed to.

The meeting took place at the end of the summer at the headquarters of the group. The former PM claims that at the meeting about a professional investment issue, he was asked for his opinion on the “political feasibility and chances of their concept of a development project for Budapest City Hall.”

Bajnai claimed he had no influence in the matter and, in his assessment of the situation, “an investment in a building of such symbolic significance would in any case be subject to political attacks in the current irrational political environment.”

They have not been in contact since then, he writes. Bajnai added that he knows how smear campaigns like this work, and fears that it is “just a warm-up to what the losing NER will try to do in the months leading up to the election.”

[HVG]

By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.