Category Archives: Hungary

What’s happening in Hungary.

Approximately 100 European citizens evacuated from Libya by Malév aircraft

Photo: malev.com

The Malév Boeing 737-800 carrying Hungarians and citizens of other European countries trapped in Libya touched down at Budapest’s Ferihegy International Airport yesterday evening. The special flight arrived with a total of 96 passengers (including 24 Hungarians) from 10 countries.

The Malév jet was met by Minister of Foreign Affairs János Martonyi and Minister of Defence Csaba Hende. Nearly 50 journalists were at the airport to record the arrival of the flight from Tripoli. Speaking to journalists, the foreign minister mentioned his especial thanks to Sándor Pintér, interior minister, and János Hajdú, head of the Anti-Terrorism Centre (TEK). Furthermore, he expressed his gratitude to Malév Chief Operational Officer Géza Fehérváry, who was also the captain of the special charter flight, and the entire crew who flew into Tripoli. The foreign minister also mentioned the work of the staff of the embassy in Tripoli, who are remaining in Libya.
As regards the repatriation of those who arrived on the aircraft, János Martonyi congratulated everyone for the exemplary cooperation. He said he considered the fact that citizens of 10 European nations, including Romanians, Lithuanians, Poles, Czechs and the Czech ambassador, were brought out to be of particular symbolic significance. This is an excellent example that we Hungarians are capable of working together when we have to, he stressed.


Csaba Hende commented that this “brilliantly executed rescue mission” was decided on by the government at a late evening session on Saturday, when it was agreed that an aircraft of the national carrier would be despatched to Tripoli. Under no circumstances will Hungary leave one of its citizens in trouble, and if needs be we will go for everyone, even to the ends of the earth, he said. The defence minister, too, thanked everyone for their cooperation. Money was not an issue; the important thing was human life and the security of Hungarians, he emphasized.

The crew of the Malév Tripoli flight and the Malév experts who readied the flight fulfilled this unusual mission faultlessly. In addition to maintaining constant liaison with the government and TEK, flight preparations were conducted extremely swiftly, as were the necessary flight authorizations, as a consequence of which flight MA1304 was able to depart for Tripoli on Sunday morning, and where, having touched down, it was only able to make the return journey after a lengthy wait. The reason for the delay was that passengers for the Malév service were able to get into the airport only with great difficulty owing to the chaotic situation at the terminal. Thanks to the efforts of the Hungarian embassy, the Anti-Terrorism Centre, the charity organization Baptist Aid and the crew of the Malév flight, the Boeing was able to take off on the return leg to Budapest at 5.30 pm Hungarian time. It landed at Ferihegy just after 8 pm local time.

Flight crew:

Capt. Géza Fehérváry, chief operational officer, corporate chief pilot
Capt. János Keszőcze, B737 chief pilot
Capt. Zoltán Kozma, manager Flight Supervisory Office
Miklós Werner, first officer, deputy head training

Frigyes Kontra, chief purser
Márton Tegze, chief purser
Iván Reiner, flight attendant
Zoltán Császár, flight attendant

courtesy of malev.com

Source: Malev.com Press Release
All images courtesy of MALÉV.

Orbán and Hungary given two weeks

The European Comission gives Viktor Orbán two weeks to show it’s new media law complies with EU rules.
Even if Hungary is the leader of the bloc the next six months, the EU might take legal actions if Viktor Orbán and his government doesn’t change the controversial media law.  France, Germany and Britain have been harsh critics of the new media law, with concerns that the new Hungarian media law contravenes European regulations on freedom and broadcasting.

Orbán said that if the EU executive obliged him to do so, he would amend the media law.

3 girls killed in Budapest disco panic.

The panic incident on Saturday night at the club West Balkan near Nyugati Station resultated in 3 girls dead.

The club had a permission to operate, but only until 22:00 and with a maximum of 300 guests.  Still, according to the Saturday night party’s organizor over 2000 people were in the club when the panic erupted.  The whole incident resulted in people beeing sent out of the club in just their t-shirts.  Several eye-witnesses tell about pushing that started out in the cloak room, where, according to one boy: “Was so full that you didn’t have to keep yourself standing up, as there were people all around, holding you up”.  Many others report about people suddenly tipping over, and with a domino effect taking a huge part of the crowd down, where there were several people on top of each other.  One apparantly affected girl says “It was just so full of people that it tipped over, and then I had to be pulled out by eight people.  I am very grateful for those that helped me”

The clubs owners say that they don’t assume any responsibility, as the location was rented out for a party, and that they were present with their own crew.

According to Hungarian TV station, RTL Klub’s news, the clubs owners had been tricking the local authorities with their license applications by withdrawing them after having submitted them. Then placing their applications at the back of the line and by this they were able to operate freely while the application was in for concideration.

The below videos might give an impression of the panic of the many people trying to exit, as well as the huge crowd wanting to get in:

Student shoots out of dorm window in Debrecen

A Debrecen student shot with an air riffle out of the window of his college dorm, reports Hungarian TV2 Tények.

A local TV station crew in Debrecen was just working in a nearby location when they saw a person shoot out of a top floor window, of the technical depts. dorm building, aiming at someone on the street.  It turned out that he was aiming for a sign, and that it was university students having fun.

-Sadly, they appear to think of this as  “but teacher, we were just playing”.  But this is no game, says Edit Szücs Emilné Varga, decan of Debrecen University’s Dept. of Technology.

She also expresses that the huge disgrace these students have brought to the faculty’s name, and the Debrecen University’s name “infront of nation and world, – none of my students are allowed to do this”

The students will most likely not be allowed to stay in the college dorm, the TV station reports.

The incident, that brings back memories of the 2009 shootings at Pécs University, where a teacher was shot and killed, while the shooters lab partner was wounded, is beeing investigated by the police.

Hungarian company brings 3D to Las Vegas

As 3D TV believers keep growing, the technical aspects of the 3D TV still has some missing elements.  There’s not enough content, and most people would opt for not wearing glasses for the sake of the 3D experience.  At the CES, the Hungarian company iPont Kft is showing its solutions for exactly these issues.

The 3D is quite popular at the movies, but these films are still not able to break into peoples living room.
One of the minor, of several reasons for this is that the 3D TVs are more expensive than the ones thar are not.  This is because people have always bought expensive, unrelated to weather they were 3D or not, when it comes to viewer comfort, this becomes a new issue.  For viewing 3D movies, you will have to wear 3D glasses, some think they look ridiculous and most think of them as uncomfortable.

Hungarian company iPont, brought 3D content and players to the CES that are viewable withouth 3D glasses.

Korcsok Zoltán, CEO of iPont, says that they are presenting the concept of a product that is ment for the end user of the product, and that they are expecting the interest of large producers.  Adding, that even before the exhibit they received interest from a major television producer.  They are also expecting interest from others, such as TV networks, film studios, cinema chains as well as sport bars.

The device presented is capable of letting the viewer watch channels intended for 3D viewing, withouth 3D glasses.

The Washington Post attacks Orbán once again.

After The Washington Post on Sunday went on to write about something that can be described as the Putinization of Hungary, this time it’s The Washington Post’s Eastern European expert, Anne Applebaum writes in the newspaper’s Tuesday edition that the Hungarian democracy is at danger, newssite index.hu reports.

“Jeopardizing democracy in Hungary”, was the title of the column Anne Applebaum wrote in the Tuesday edition in The Washington Post.
It is because of the new media law that she is worried about the Hungarian freedom.

The author, famous for her research on communist crimes, is the wife of the Polish Foreign Minister, but her writings are independent of the Polish governments viewpoints.
Applebaum was celebrated by Tibor Navracsics and Laszló Kövér last week.

She warns that while in Belarus the dicatorship is kept in power with violence, the democracy in Hungary is evolving towards a one party system by administrative means.
She looks at the new media law as a step towards this direction.

Applebaum writes that “Indeed, when the authors of the American constitution worried about the “tyranny of the majority,” they might have had Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, in mind.”

The column is found here.

Google Street View in Hungary?

Jóri András, data protection ombudsman looks to be saying yes to accept the Google Street View into Hungary, given that they agree on the terms he has set up.
Google’s Hungary office is in talks with the ombudsman, but are rather silent about the progress of the talks.

It looks like the strict data protection policy that has in the past years hindered Google to create panoramic street images in European countries. for then presenting them on their Google Maps Street View, is loosening.

Last week the Germans, who have traditionally acted strict in regards of protecting their personal data and photos gave up and now twenty German cities may be viewed in panoramic photos, among them being Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.   The German solution did however only come to life after a comprehensive compromise had been reached, with property owners being individually able to decide whether they wish to have their buildings and gardens appear on the Google Map Street View site, or have their property censored.  As a result the company had to remove 244.000 buildings from the map service,  which means that of 8,5 million German real estate owners about 3 percent chose to hide.  The most ironic example being Google’s own Munich office in Dienerstrasse 12 being  censored out of the Street View.

Pizza Hut out of Hungary?

The first ever Pizza Hut to be opened in Hungary has recently shut its doors.  The business that was located on the corner of Király and Nagykörút  and opened 18 years ago.

Not long ago the chain’s other downtown restaurant in Károly körút was closed.  The company running the chain, Amrest Kft.’s quarterly report tells that the number of restaurants have dropped to two: In Pólu Center and Aréna Plaza.  At the start of this year there were five restaurants.

The food delivery service has also stopped, while it’s still possible to order take away food, it has to be collected at one of the two restaurants.

The very first Pizza Hut opened in 1992 in Hungary.  Besides Budapest, there were restaurants operating in Győr, Pécs, Miskolc and Szeged.  In 2006 a 12 new restaurants were opened in Hungary.  According to the Wikipedia article about it’s Hungarian business at the it’s peak there were 22 restaurants operating throughout the country.   According to Amrest’s 2006 report they started the year of 2006 with 12 restaurants, but since then they have been closing one after the other.

An interesting note might be that the number of KFC restaurants, also operated by Amrest Kft. has grown.