OLAF opens investigation into canopy walkway without a canopy built in Hungary, using EU funds

September 18. 2023. – 08:51 AM



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"The European Anti-Fraud Office is opening an investigation into the case of the canopy walkway!

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has informed me by letter that it has recently opened an investigation into the case of the infamous canopy walkway in Nyírmártonfalva, following the report I submitted jointly with Ákos Hadházy" – Anna Donáth, Momentum MEP, announced on her Facebook page. Donáth and Hadházy (MP) submitted their report in the spring, during the time when there was much noise in the media about the canopy walkway in question.

Telex also reported on the story from Nyírmártonfalva: the canopy walkway’s special feature is not so much that it cost 60 million HUF (€ 156 576) to build, but that the forest around it has been cut down. Átlátszó later obtained detailed invoices for the infamous foliage-less Nyírmártonfalva canopy walkway. These revealed that each metre of the walkway, which was built with 80% EU funding, cost EU taxpayers 644 347 forints (or € 1682).

"OLAF is responsible for protecting the financial interests of the Union by investigating fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity. [...] OLAF has analysed the information received and has opened an investigation into the above-mentioned tenders," OLAF wrote in its reply to Anna Donáth.

Transparency International Hungary has appealed to the state's anti-corruption authority to investigate the matter. The NGO has submitted a request for an investigation to the Integrity Authority, as it believes that there are "systemic errors" during the selection of projects receiving EU funding. Anna Donáth writes that "the Integrity Authority is deeply silent on the matter".

Our video team brought back this report (with English subtitles) from the location in the spring:

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