Átlátszó has learned that Hungary had to repay €7.8 million (US $8.9 million or 2.8 billion Ft.) of EU subsidies after irregularities with funds directed to the Öveges Program and other grants provided by the European Social Fund were uncovered.
In May 2012, the National Development Agency announced tenders for a total of 14 billion Ft. ($45.2 million) to improve high school science education through the Öveges Program.
Independent MP Ákos Hadházy drew attention to the misuse of funds with the Öveges program in 2014, but now it has become clear that this is not the only project funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) that has had problems with its accounting, although Átlátszó does not name them.
The Öveges case was investigated for seven years under the suspicion of major budget fraud. The Prosecutor’s Office filed charges, but it is still not known when those charged will appear in court.
Hungary’s tax authority NAV began investigating the Öveges program but let it go stagnant for several years. The case finally reached the prosecution stage last year, during which it pressed charges against three suspects but recommended suspended prison sentences for them.