Hungarian Prosecutors Probe Central Bank’s Foundations

Hungarian prosecutors have started an investigation into spending at the central bank’s network of foundations.

The probe will cover all six of the foundations based on an inquiry that alleged violations of procurement rules, prosecutor Bettina Bagoly said by e-mail on Wednesday. Bertalan Toth, a lawmaker for the opposition Socialist Party, said that he had requested the investigation.

The central bank is proud of the “lawful and successful” educational work carried out by its foundations and rejects the attacks against them, which are based on lies, Balazs Hidveghi, a spokesman for the monetary authority, told reporters.

The central bank’s foundations were set up in 2014 to promote economic research and financial literacy with $1 billion from profits booked partly on the revaluation of foreign-currency reserves. They have come under scrutiny after a court decision forced them to publish information on their spending, which led to revelations of expenses ranging from purchases of artwork and real estate to research trips to Africa.

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