Rail tickets go onlineFraught queuing in grimy ticket offices while watching the seconds to the departure of your train ticking away could soon become a thing of the past. Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) announced last week that it is to start selling tickets online in the autumn.
Police claim journalist lied about assaultThe police alleged last week that an investigative journalist who was found beaten half to death on the banks of the Danube on 22 June has been lying about the circumstances surrounding the attack. Irén Kármán – whose investigative work into a 1990s oil scam allegedly could affect politicians of all major parties – countered with accusations that the police are trying to destroy her credibility.
New levy coming, but shape and timing uncertainFinance Minister János Veres confirmed during a television interview last Friday that that a new real estate tax will come into force, probably in 2009. A more comprehensive overhaul of the national tax system is also due to come into effect at the same time.
Vodka from window cleaner may be at a kocsma near youCustoms officials discovered 14 illegal factories in eastern Hungary that have been converting window cleaning fluid into vodka. They found evidence that some two million litres of bootleg vodka have been produced, but only found 5,000 litres. The remaining 1,995,000 litres, it is thought, are either sitting behind the bars of low-end pubs or have already been drunk.
Rogán demands that ministries pay fineDistrict V council and two ministries are engaged in a row over parking spaces. Antal Rogán, the Fidesz mayor of the district is demanding that the Health Ministry and Defence Ministry pay HUF 23.5 billion (EUR 94 million) for blocking off their parking spaces from public use and not paying for their use.
Gábor Szetey, a high-ranking official in the Prime Minister’s Office, last Thursday admitted he was homosexual as junior coalition member the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) announced that it would ask for same-sex unions to be legalised.
Victim must prove physical resistance to establish case for sexual assaultVictims of sexual violence in Hungary are in a weak position in the criminal justice system with the police, the courts and the legal definition of rape and sexual assault all making it difficult to prove an assault, according to NGOs.
Low costs attract Nazi-era filmFor weeks there have been strange happenings in and around Budapest: huge swastika flags hanging from one building near the National Museum and boys wearing ‘40s style-trousers and severe partings in their hair running down the street next to the State Opera. The reason is that the British production company Heyday Films chose Budapest ahead of Berlin and Prague for the shooting of the film version of John Boyne’s novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
In the early nineties, with the rapid transition to a market economy, party members used their connections and inside knowledge to assure themselves of a large slice of the pie when state assets were privatised.Â Others eschewed any pretence of legality and indulged in large-scale, mafia-style crime.
Minister Josef Pröll and his Hungarian counterpart Gábor Fodor last Tuesday
signed up to an action plan to stop Austrian tanneries polluting the Rába