The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Faced with inflation, Hungary closes theatres, museums and stadiums, blaming Brussels


Soaring energy bills are forcing some cities to shut down their facilities for the winter. The government puts the blame on the European Union.

They are brand new and symbolize Viktor Orban's love for football.

Built under the aegis of the Hungarian Prime Minister, stadiums must now turn off their lights in the face of soaring electricity prices.

And they are not alone.

Theaters, libraries, swimming pools or famous thermal baths: the list grows every day of places that lower the curtain in this Central European country, hit hard by inflation and the energy crisis.

An unprecedented situation, which mainly affects the province and which is welcomed for the moment with resignation by the Hungarians.

In the town of Szekesfehervar, 60 km from Budapest, the football club, which plays in the first division, no longer has access to its stadium.

Erected in 2018, it can accommodate 14,000 spectators and is usually the pride of the town.

“There are no taboos,”

mayor Andras Cser-Palkovics, a member of the ruling Fidesz party, told AFP.

Read alsoThe European Union ready to block its subsidies to Hungary

Sport is sacred in the land of Orban, which has launched an ambitious national program to build and renovate stadiums.

But he

“must also contribute to the common effort”

, believes the 48-year-old elected official, who has also closed museums and theaters.

Among the population of 100,000 inhabitants,

"no one is delighted with these measures" which give the town the appearance of a ghost town, while understanding "that we have no choice"

, he adds.

"Obviously, education and health are priorities - it's more important to go to the doctor than to see a football match"

, comments Geza Deli, 72, crossed in the main street.

No complaints from the players either, forced to train on smaller pitches during the winter break.

The work

"is not particularly affected by the drastic decision to save energy

," Mol Fehervar FC said in a statement.

"After January, we will see what happens

," said Andras Cser-Palkovics, who asked the Federation to schedule matches before nightfall.

Other top clubs, such as Honved and Debrecen, are also without stadiums.


- Energy: discussions at the European Council were "lively", on the cap on the price of gas

Orban's "tactic"

Hungary is preparing for a harsh winter and its prime minister, who liked to boast about cheap energy in his country, is under pressure.

Inflation is one of the highest in the European Union (21.6% in October over one year), the recession awaits and the country is still waiting for 14 billion euros in European funds, blocked due to concerns on corruption and the rule of law.

Discontent grew in the streets, with teachers protesting starvation wages.

In shops and service stations, the price caps for oil and basic foodstuffs are leading to shortages.

A slump for which Viktor Orban blames Brussels.

"Sanctions (against Russia) are ruining us

," proclaimed posters plastered across the country as part of a national consultation.

An information board reading

“The central library is closed from November 1”

hangs at the main entrance to the library in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, on November 9, 2022. ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

"It's the big game of accusations

," sums up Andrea Virag, of the Republikon think tank.

"It is clear that the tactic of the government is to throw all the blame on Europe"

, a speech that works in part.

“Studies show that a large number of people believe in the Fidesz story and attack the EU

,” comments the expert.

If Szekesfehervar has factories on its soil, which makes it one of the richest cities in Hungary, this is not the case for other municipalities threatened with bankruptcy.

“Without state support, many will not be able to pay the bills.

But there is no point in waiting for a miracle, it is better to take matters into our own hands

,” said Andras Cser-Palkovics.

Read alsoNATO: Hungary still postpones the ratification of the accession of Sweden and Finland

The director of the municipal theater Janos Szikaro has already found another place where the actors can rehearse during the two months of closure.

“We are not going to wait desperately thinking: 'Oh my God, what will happen?'”

, launches the septuagenarian, in the empty hall of the institution.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2022-11-29

You may like

News/Politics 2022-12-13T18:23:14.344Z
News/Politics 2022-12-29T05:09:12.257Z

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy