Chinese money flows to friend of Hungarian PM Orban in contract for Budapest-Belgrade railway
In 2019, Hungarian and Chinese partners in Opus Global, a holding company under the control of Viktor Orban ally Lorinc Meszaros, won the contract for construction of Hungary’s portion of the proposed Budapest-Belgrade rail project. The deal is worth at least $2.1 billion, though the Hungarian government approved a measure classifying details of the project. An Opus Global subsidiary, RM International Zrt., maintains a 50% stake in CRE Consortium, which was granted the tender. Meszaros himself has a 37% share in Opus and remains the largest shareholder. State-backed entities China Tiejiuju Engineering & Construction Kft. and China Railway Electrification Engineering Group Kft own the other half of CRE Consortium, and Beijing has partnered with both Hungary and Serbia on the project’s financing. The project has already been delayed for years, and EU authorities had opened an infringement procedure against Hungary back in 2016 over alleged noncompliance with procurement regulations, though no formal penalty was imposed.

About This Incident

Threat Actors: China
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Incident Metadata

Date: April 2019
Country: Hungary