Finding jest within the patterns of lifeMost photography collections on Budapest present a typical view of Parliament resting gloriously on the bank of the Danube or the bridges softly framed in lights that glitter in the water. The glamour is interrupted by the occasional black-and-white image of a musty street corner where a woman passes with her face lowered in a dark collar. Yet as smoothly as the beautiful and the secret blend in these collections is, like postcards they eventually grow dull and unconvincing. Personality is lost, and we’re caught claiming that Budapest looks just like Prague.
Erkel Theatre closesThe curtain went down at the Erkel Theatre last Monday to allow long overdue restoration work. However, financing for the work is not yet in place and it is still unclear when the work will begin. The theatre is tentatively scheduled to reopen in 2011.
MOL may be building war chestÂ Hungary’s top energy firm MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas last Tuesday distanced itself even further from a potential merger with Austria’s OMV as MOL’s management said that bringing the two companies together would not increase efficiency.
Wizz Air chief vows to drive SkyEurope outThe CEO of budget airline Wizz Air at a press conference last Monday said the company will be increasing its flights from Budapest. József Váradi said that the local firm intends to drive rival SkyEurope out of the Hungarian and Polish markets, and that he expects it to leave within months.Wizz is adding a new Budapest-Milan route to its schedule in October, and it will be increasing flights on four existing routes in which it is already in direct competition with Sky: London, Paris, Rome and Eindhoven.
PM vows clampdown on black economyThe government could knock ten percentage points from the rate of social security contributions if revenues from the illegal economy were collected, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány said last Monday as he promised further measures against tax evasion.
Looking good, for nowFinance Minister János Kóka last week told MTI news agency that he believes Hungary will meet the criteria for adopting the euro in 2009. He said that fiscal consolidation (that is, the unpopular package of tax increases and public sector spending cuts introduced last summer) would bring the national budget deficit to within the stipulated threshold of 3% of GDP.
Short-term outlook for the economyWith the arrival of the holiday season, markets are shifting to the usual summer trading mood – characterised by slower than usual trading activity with many investors being on holiday far away from their desk. It is the perfect time for a brief look at the prospects of the Hungarian macroeconomic environment for the second half of the year. Obviously the fiscal policy agenda remains the key factor for the short-term economic outlook.
Slovak diplomat takes over top job inÂ BosniaIn his first act as the international community’s new representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Miroslav Lajcak went on the offensive last Tuesday against war crimes suspects serving in the police and working for the state.
The President of Poland is a “liar” and his wife is a “witch”, according the head of Radio Maryja, a controversial Catholic, nationalist broadcaster which is normally intensely supportive of the governing right-wing coalition.
The US and the EU last week rewrote a draft resolution on the future status of the disputed province of Kosovo to omit the promise of independence if further negotiations with Serbia end in deadlock. The new draft would be a watered-down version of the previous one and instead of automatic independence would only include a promise to review the situation after more talks.