Presenting in one concise package the week’s most important and fascinating national stories, whether they be economic, political, cultural, sporting or among the hundreds of other happenings that go on daily.
Legendary footballer Jenő Buzánszky, the last surviving member of Hungary’s Golden Team of the 1950s, has died at the age of 89. “I am proud to have played in the world’s best football team that everyone has remembered ever since,” Buzánszky said in an interview in May 2011. He said it had never occurred to him to play football or coach abroad because he loved Hungary so much. Born in 1925, Buzánszky was the right-back in the Golden Team, making his debut in 1950 and playing 48 internationals up until 1956. He played shoulder-to-shoulder with such greats as Ferenc Puskás, József Bozsik, Nándor Hidegkuti and Sándor Kocsis. This was the side that triumphed in the 1952 Olympic Games, beat Italy 3-0 in the first game ever played at Rome’s Olympic Stadium and won a stunning 6-3 victory against England at Wembley Stadium in November 1953 (the picture was taken moments before kickoff, Buzánszky is the fifth player from the left). The return match – a 7-1 win for the Golden Team in Budapest in 1954 – was icing on the cake. The winning streak came to an end in the 1954 World Cup final when Hungary, the hot favourite, lost 3-2 to West Germany. Buzánszky was the fastest-moving defender on the Golden Team. He received the sportsman of the nation award in 2011 and was elected a member of the Association of Immortal Hungarian Sportspeople last November. “It is a great feeling to have given happiness to my country,” he said of the award. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on his Facebook page: “The last of the Mohicans is gone. Farewell, Uncle Jenő!” The Hungarian Football Association said it considers Buzánszky as one of its own. “With his death Hungarian and world football has suffered an inconsolable loss,” it said.
The renovation of one of Buda’s most important traffic hubs, Széll Kálmán square, began on Monday and is expected to be completed by February 2016. The HUF 5.3 billion project will make life easier for people in wheelchairs, with obstruction-free paths and an escalator to the bus stops in Várfok utca. The bus terminuses will be made more accessible to pedestrians by reducing the size of the bus parking places and rebuilding the traffic junction at the north-western side of the square. The current sales stalls will disappear, the central building will get a “unified architectural image”, as Budapest Transport Centre (BKK) expresses it, and the green surfaces will be enlarged. A new end station for the cogwheel railway will be included. The tram stops will be covered and BKK will establish a new customer service centre.
Cocaine ‘seized’ at Budapest AIrport
Police at Budapest’s international Ferenc Liszt Airport say they have seized almost eight kilogrammes of cocaine worth well over EUR 300,000 from two Portuguese nationals. Police said on their website that a man, 48, and woman, 23, were detained on January 10 after they looked suspicious. The cocaine had been found in 82 sachets of hair dye in the woman’s suitcase. It was allegedly brought from Brazil via Dubai to Budapest. The two suspects are in police detention pending an investigation and charges.
After successfully completing its mission Hungary’s first satellite, Masat-1, deorbited and burned up upon entering the atmosphere of Earth on Saturday. It took around 15 minutes to burn up. Masat-1 went into orbit on February 13, 2012 with joint efforts and support from two departments at Budapest University of Technology, the Hungarian Space Office and over sixty Hungarian and international companies. The satellite was a small, cubical object weighing less than a kilo. It was built mainly for education purposes, recording data on its own position and its environment, and transmitting them to a terrestrial station established by the university.
Retune for public TV channels
Public television M1 will from March 15 broadcast non-stop news and transfer its non-news programmes to Duna TV. A sports channel dubbed M4 will be launched in July and M2 will broadcast music programmes in the evenings from March. The Media Service Support and Asset Management Fund will give a complete overhaul to the M1 channel, which is set to broadcast news around the clock, with news magazines including bulletins on stocks, economy, farming, innovation and culture. Programmes will also cover European and global politics as well as events in the Carpathian Basin. M1 will broadcast an English-language news roundup late in the evening. Public media outlet MTVA has commissioned British media professional Simon Jago to draw up a brand-new design for M1. Duna TV, the channel that traditionally targeted audiences beyond the borders since 1993, will take on the role of the “main public channel” and will host popular programmes, cultural and religious magazines currently running on M1.
The Hungarian government will finance a HUF 17 million reconstruction of the memorial of Szekler martyrs in Siculeni, Romania, the state secretary of Hungarian communities abroad, Árpád János Potápi, has said. Potápi said at a commemoration marking the 251st anniversary of a crime committed by the mercenaries of Habsburg Queen Maria Theresa that the imperial troops had tried to recruit the independent-minded Szeklers to serve as border patrol guards under Habsburg command. The community, however, had resisted, organising a revolt against the forced military draft. In response, the mercenaries had massacred 200 unsuspecting Szeklers and forced thousands to flee across the Carpathian Mountains. Potápi noted that the Szeklers had fought for self-determination and autonomy two and a half centuries ago, and continued to do so even today because autonomy is a framework for, and a precondition of, their survival as a community. “This is why Hungary’s government supports the Szeklers’ inalienable right to autonomy,” he said.