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Hungarian report Hungarian report
by Euro Reporter
2010-02-19 08:32:31
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Head of Military University in Budapest Arrested

Police detained the head of the National Defence University on Tuesday, on suspicion of abuse of office, following a months-long investigation. There was a scuffle as Szabó resisted arrest, but be was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed. Szabó allegedly told international delivery company DHL that its Hungarian operations would be in danger unless it signed a contract with a security company nominated by him. The rector was to have been paid from the DHL revenues. The company took the matter to the police.

Szabó reportedly told DHL that police were investigating the company, as some of its employees were transporting arms and drugs, but that he could help to protect the company. Detectives from the National Bureau of Investigation (NNI) searched the offices of Szabó and others on Tuesday. Szabó has run the university for three years, but his term ends in June. The Defence Ministry has asked the NNI to provide information to the public about the case, in order to avoid unnecessary speculation."


Hungary's Fidesz May Be "Trapped In A Corner" After the Elections

After the April general elections in Hungary, Fidesz and its leader, Viktor Orbán may become "trapped in a corner" as it may not be able to fulfil their exaggerated election promises, like US President Barack Obama, ING warned in its latest Converging and Emerging Markets Outlook. ING’s economists do not believe the new government will have a wider fiscal manoeuvring room, while further structural measures will be needed. (The IMF, EU, rating agencies and market are watching) and the private sector (especially households) are slightly over-indebted, which limits any rebound of domestic demand. If the economic growth fails to pick up, Hungary will still need at least another 40 years to achieve convergence, they projected.

The economy is in a deep recession, with GDP falling by 6.3% year on year in 2009, and ING’s economists see only a slight 0.5% rise in 2010. "This means the decade will end with de-convergence from the Eurozone." In the last five years there was only 1% yearly convergence to Western Europe vs 2% in the second half of the 90s and at the beginning of this century, ING said.

"If the economy does not accelerate - 20 years after the regime change - Hungary will still need at least another 40 years to achieve convergence." "After the election (to be held in April) Fidesz and the leader of Fidesz (Orbán) may become trapped in a corner as exaggerated election promises may not be fulfilled (like Obama in the US)," ING’s analysts said. "Hungary is suffering on the one hand because of the global crisis, and on the other hand because of the extremely poor domestic demand thanks to the restrictive fiscal policy and the deteriorating competitiveness of the country," ING said.


Lawsuit against Hungary’s MÁV by Holocaust Survivors Is “Total nonsense"

A lawsuit demanding USD 8.92 billion (HUF 1,773 bn) has been recently launched against Hungary’s state-owned railway company MÁV for its involvement in deporting Jews during World War II. The claim that would thrust the country into sovereign default swarms with shocking historical errors but there are legal flaws, as well, index.hu cited experts as saying. During the research the plaintiffs claim to have lasted for nine years, no historians versed in the Holocaust were contacted in Hungary. Similarly, no Jewish organizations dealing in the compensation of neither Jews, nor lawyers experienced in similar international cases were consulted.

"If they had contacted me, I would have kicked them out in no time, because this is the biggest madness I’ve heard in a long time," Hungarian historian László Karsai said. Heirs of Jews killed in the Hungarian Holocaust of 1944 filed a lawsuit at a Chicago court earlier this week against Hungarian state railways MÁV for the company's involvement in deporting more than 437,000 Jews to their deaths in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

"MÁV knew exactly what it was doing [...] and supervised and managed every aspect of the transportation process," the plaintiffs said. "Without the trains provided by MÁV, hundreds of thousands of Jews could not have been transported to Auschwitz." MÁV is charged with "aiding and abetting the Nazi genocide of 1944" and with "looting the plaintiffs’ possessions." "MÁV employees had dug ditches in advance to receive the dead bodies and bury them. The persons who showed signs of mental illness were led to the edge of the ditches and then shot by MÁV employees."

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