Updated: Repurchase Of Budapest Airport in Final Phase, Says Ministry

  • 9 Apr 2024 6:49 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Updated: Repurchase Of Budapest Airport in Final Phase, Says Ministry
The repurchase of Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport is progressing in line with schedule and the transaction is in its final phase, the economy ministry said on Wednesday in response to press reports.

The ministry said in a statement that a report on the airport’s ongoing repurchase transaction published by news portal 444.hu included several “untrue and intentionally misleading” statements.

“Despite all the fake reports, the government continues to work on making up the Gyurcsány government’s greatest sin, which was to squander the airport, an outstanding strategic asset,” the ministry added.

The repurchase of the airport has been by far the largest transaction since post-communist transformation and consequently a complicated and complex task, it said.

An agreement of this scale often takes years and “compared to this, the progress of the current transaction is expressly speedy”, it added.

“Reaching an agreement with the lender consortium during the talks is at least as important as the deal with the seller,” the statement said.

The talks have been progressing simultaneously, and the international investors and creditors have given positive feedback on the government’s efforts to reach an agreement in a fast and professional manner, it added.

Majority Stake in Airport 'Within Days'

The government trusts that Ferenc Liszt International Airport will once again be majority-owned by the state within the next few days, Viktor Orbán has said.

Simultaneously, the government will soon decide on transport infrastructure to and from the airport, the prime minister said in parliament, answering a question about a proposed rail shuttle.

The national economy ministry recently said the procedure to repurchase the airport was on schedule and the transaction in its final phase, calling the deal “by far the largest transaction since post-communist transformation” and “a complex task”.

Meanwhile, asked by LMP lawmaker Máté Kanász-Nagy about developments in Budapest, Orbán dismissed the charge that the central government was deliberately “punishing” the capital.

Orbán said the Fidesz-run Budapest administration had taken over 280 billion forints in debt in 2010-11, yet 4,000 billion forints had been spent on developments in recent years.

The prime minister said he “loved” the city and its people, “but the country isn’t only composed of Budapest”.

He added that Budapest had benefitted from hundreds of billions of forints of state money, which he called a disproportionate amount compared with other parts of the country.

MTI Photo: Sándor Szabó

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