Hungary’s Minister of Economic Affairs János Kóka yesterday told the country’s parliament that incumbent operator Magyar Telekom (MT) is definitely not for sale. The Minister’s statement comes amid rising speculation over a possible takeover by the Russian Sistema group. Several MPs, including Attila Gruber of the opposition party Fidesz, expressed concern over rumours that Deutsche Telekom was selling the national PTO. Whilst welcoming the idea of fresh Russian capital, Gruber said his party had issues about ‘Russian companies with obscure backgrounds’. The Budapest Business Journal adds that Gruber has concerns over MT’s involvement in several sensitive national projects such as management of a national backbone network for many state agencies, ownership of the EDR (Unified Digital Radio Network) service, which is used by the emergency and security services, and its KFKI unit which manages data on Hungarian citizens.
Kóka says that Deutsche Telekom has no plans to sell MT, and to the contrary is continuing its eastern European expansion, and that the personal data of Hungarian citizens is also safe, as only state-owned institutions may manage areas that carry national security risks.