New Citroen C4 PicassoÂ By renaming the seven-seater C4 Picasso as the Grand C4 Picasso, Citroen made way for its smaller five-seater brother, which, with a length of 4.7 metres, really is between the Grand C4 and the Xsara.
Eight years after the first Fabia, Skoda is now entering the hatchback race with the second generation model. With the new Fabia, Skoda has retained and further developed all the features which inspired 1.5 million drivers to buy the first-generation Fabia.
Bankruptcies up dramatically, firms dropping from registerThe number of liquidations is on the rise and the number of firms removed from the company register could soon equal the number of firms being added, according to the latest study published by Opten Kft. “That means, the number of Hungarian companies is stagnating, and could soon even show a negative trend,” said Tamás Tóth, CEO of Opten Kft. Compared to the same period of last year the number of bankruptcies in the first half of 2007 shot up, with more than 4,000 firms ceasing operation in the first six months of this year compared to 2,000-2,400 previously.
MOL strengthens further against possible takeoverMOL Hungarian Oil and Gas announced on the Budapest Stock Exchange last Thursday that it had transferred 9,379,116 treasury shares to MFB Invest, thus opening the way for the company to buy more of its own shares and further defend against a takeover by Austria’s OMV.
Tokaj fears acid rain, EU plans to ban adding sugar to wineWinemakers in Hungary’s world famous Tokaj region are up in arms because of plans across the border in Slovakia to build a huge coal fired power station. The mayor of Sátoraljaújhely, 20km from the site of the proposed plant, has called on the government and environmental groups to oppose the plan.
Example of EU integration too personal for someA film submitted to YouTube by the EU showing sex scenes from European films last week proved much more popular with YouTube users than with the continent’s rightwing politicians.Going under the title Film Lovers Will Love This, the short features 44 seconds of 18 European couples, both straight and gay, getting it on and then climaxing with the slogan “Let’s come together”, before adding “Millions of cinema lovers enjoy European films…every year.” The film has received over two million hits to date.
President will not OK Order of Merit for divisive PM after court backs his right to refusePresident László Sólyom last week repeated his refusal to award the Order of Merit to former Prime Minister Gyula Horn, this time with the backing of the Constitutional Court. It ruled last Tuesday that the President has the right to veto the Prime Minister’s nominations for state decorations. Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány nominated his fellow Socialist for the award in late June and had argued that the President had no right to refuse the award.
Political Capital’s analysis of energy market liberalisationThe liberalisation of the energy market will soon begin according to European Union directives. Nevertheless, in Hungary this question has become caught up in the political debate on the current economic reforms. The politicians concerned are most preoccupied with how prices are likely to change, but that is impossible to predict at this point. It is clear, however, that without terminating the long-term contracts signed with power stations, there are unlikely to be far-reaching changes.
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.