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.
Együtt wants danger screening
The opposition Együtt party is demanding an investigation into the impact of contamination at a depot in south-east Budapest first reported in April. The districts near the Illatos utca depot should be thoroughly screened after the suspected release of dangerous materials, Krisztina Baranyi, a local councillor for Együtt, said on Monday. Baranyi said there had been measurements of pollutants in District IX but the “mayor would like to keep these results under wraps”. As a councillor she had been granted access to these documents and had seen that the test values were often above the health limits. The district of nearby Kispest had tested the water locally and then asked residents to stop using underground water for watering. This month the local council of District IX said there were no signs of pollution in the ground or air near the depot or on the nearby housing estates. The council said “only a few parameters in drinking and underground water testing showed above-permissible values”. The Agriculture Ministry said earlier that the environmental pollution could have been caused by improper chemical usage or fodder illegally obtained by the former state chemical works privatised in 1993. The 1,005 barrels containing the most hazardous waste were removed from the site by May 31, the ministry said.
For the second year in a row InterContinental Budapest has been voted Hungary’s Leading Business Hotel by travel and tourism professionals worldwide. General manager Claus Geisselmann said the World Travel Awards recognise the commitment to excellence of hospitality organisations, and in the past two years the InterContinental Budapest has put tremendous effort into achieving its goals in not only maintaining the standard level ,but further improving in small details and touches in the service areas and towards guests and stakeholders. Geisselmann said becoming the leading business hotel on the Hungarian market for the second time is a very good acknowledgement of its work. He said this is a great responsibility and challenge at the same time. “This drives us to continuously look for new and different approaches to be able to achieve the best results in the next year as well.” In 2015 the hotel has been awarded the “Traveller’s Choice” certificate by online travel portal TripAdvisor and recognised as the TripAdvisor “Hall Of Fame” winner because of earning the “Certificate of Excellence” for five consecutive years. InterContinental Budapest has also been honoured a series of “Best of Budapest & Hungary Award” by Budapest Week Publishing.
Budapest Street, Ankara, Turkey
A street has been named after Budapest in the Turkish capital Ankara. Mayor Ibrahim Melih Gokcek said at a ceremony that the move will promote mutual understanding. The street is in the affluent Cukurambar district, a few kilometres off the city centre, near some prestigious universities.
Prosecutor investigates aggressive camerawoman
The Szeged district prosecutor has launched an investigation into the case of the camerawoman who was seen kicking and tripping over migrants on footage that circulated heavily on the internet. Sándor Törő, the deputy chief prosecutor of Csongrád county, said complaints had been received that the woman working for online N1 television channel at the Röszke border collection point had been physically belligerent with several migrants, among them children. The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) and Dialogue for Hungary (PM) parties have filed criminal complaints against her. N1TV said she had been fired and the company considers “the case closed”. DK said several cameras had recorded the woman purposely tripping a running man holding a child. She was “working for the radical nationalist Jobbik party’s propaganda TV”, DK added. PM said its criminal complaint is for “violence against a member of a community”. The sacked camerawoman has issued an apology.
Though it did not look like it for about 80 minutes, Ferencváros remains spotless after eight rounds in the national football championship. The eighth match day of the season concluded with the 215th edition of the infamous Újpest-Ferencváros derby. German coach Thomas Doll’s Ferencváros had to be confident – having been undefeated by a Hungarian team since last October – but this did not show in the first half. It was all about Újpest dominating and scoring quickly in the third minute. The 8,500 spectators saw a complete turnaround in the second half with Ferencváros taking control. In the 78th minute league top scorer Dániel Böde (pictured in the background) headed the equaliser. With one minute to go Stanislav Sesták crossed from the right to find an unmarked Böde, whose second goal of the game puts him on ten in eight matches. “We managed to switch up gears in the second half and we took a risk in the 75th minute when we switched to three defenders,” Doll said. He conceded that perhaps a draw would have been just because both teams gave their all. Ferencváros leads the league by nine points.
‘Immediate’ bank transfers
Hungarian clearing house Giro and its owner, the National Bank, are working on ways to eliminate waiting times for settlement of interbank transfers, the central bank has said. So far Giro has launched developments that halve the time it takes to clear domestic interbank transfers to just one hour.
Expo pavilion draws crowds
The Hungarian pavilion at the Milan World Expo attracted over 1.4 million visitors in its first four months, drawing over one tenth of the expo’s visitors, the pavilion’s spokeswoman has told state news agency MTI. Since opening in May, the expo had been visited by 12.2 million people, Flóra Rétfalvi said, and was on track to hit its target of 20 million.
Orbán Hitler picture ‘violation’
The pro-government Civil Unity Forum (CÖF) has accused opposition weekly Magyar Narancs of “violating the ethics of freedom of speech” with its cover page depicting Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with a Hitler mustache made of barbed wire. CÖF founder László Csizmadia said an opinion piece in the paper described Orbán as “insane”. “It’s a shame that the neoliberal paper overstepped the ethical and legal boundaries of the freedoms of expression and the press and uses the tools of professional barbarism,” Csizmadia said. Magyar Narancs’s action had been “an act of desperation by a paper with minimal readership”.