Non-existent Hungarian economy
Will Aliyev's money save Hungarian economy? Or maybe Azerbaijan just
teased it with a carrot instead of paying?

Starting August 31, Hungary has become a target for Armenia's close
attention. For quite a while, Armenians wondered how they could sell
the murderer, even for a large sum of money. The media reports, blogs
and the official website of the Hungarian government and Prime
Minister Viktor Orbán present quite a dismal picture of Hungary's
economic situation.

September 29, 2012


PanARMENIAN.Net - So, the national companies: the national MALEV air
company was sold and resold several times and finally went
bankrupt.Ganz Mavag, the largest machine factory which manufactured
steam locomotives, rail vehicles, locomotives, buses, etc since 1870,
used to export its production to USSR, Canada, Switzerland, Italy,
Romania, Egypt, India, Yugoslavia, Korea and other countries. The
company, now owned by Austria, is ruined. Its production departments
are now used by country's largest Chinese market.

Ikarus, the famous bus manufacturer founded in 1895, was shut down in
2007. In 2010, they tried to re-launch the factory; however, Hungary
today purchases buses mostly in China.

MAV, the Hungarian national railway company (1869) is now divided into
passenger and freight transport units. The cargo division, most
profitable one, is currently a privately held one, while the
unprofitable passenger transport unit is owned by the state. Earlier,
cargo transportation provided subsidies for passenger trains; now,
railway communication to remote settlements is either cut or shut
down.

BKV, the public transport company of Budapest established in 1968,
will soon be split and privatized. A French company will undertake
construction of a new station of Budapest subway, once built by Soviet
specialists. The price is already three times higher than the Russian
cost estimate. Hungary got EU funding for this; the money was spent,
with no station built so far. Meanwhile, the credit should be returned
in two years... In addition, they somehow managed to construct only.... 1
km of the highway worth $1 bln. 30% of money was spent on `legal
consultancy', namely compilation of a contract and `legal resistance'.

The Herend Porcelain Manufactory (1826), a manufacturing company
specializing in luxury hand painted and gilded porcelain, the dishware
supplier of the British Royal Court, is still operating. Zsolnay
(1853), a Hungarian manufacturer of porcelain, is in fact ruined. The
production departments once supplied dishes to IKEA, and were shut
down later.

RABA, a truck and engine manufactory is closed. Some capacities are
liquidated, other are partially transferred to Suzuki, Audi and
Mersedes assembly units. Also, Mersedes got such tax benefits that,
according to independent experts, dismissing them would be cheaper
than maintenance.

Gedeon Richter, the widely known pharmaceutical plants were given back
to their previous, `pre-Socialist' owners. In 2010, previous owners
sold the company to the Swiss Prelegem. Currently the new owners are
transferring the production to neighbouring Slovakia because of tax
considerations.

The famous Hungarian eco-friendly agriculture is actually ruined. Some
of the local milk processing units were purchased by Danon, others
were shut down. Meanwhile, the milk is largely imported from Poland,
watermelons from Spain, tomatoes, along with other vegetables are
brought from Spain and Turkey; garlic is imported from China, while
meat and chicken come from Argentina and Brasil.

PIC, one of the two internationally known sausage factories which used
to supply production to Europe and the U.S., is currently
`naturally'owned by Austria. The second one, HERTZ, went bankrupt and
was shut down, being a rival company. The famous Hungarian home-made
sausages are now mostly produced in Slovakia. All 9 sugar
manufactories are closed.

GLOBUS, agricultural export company widely known in Eastern Europe was
also purchased by French Bonduelle; the national brand was immediately
dismissed. Same was the case with MOL. The Hungarian oil and gas
company changed several owners; `Surgutneftegaz' bought a share from
the Austrian company and refused to register them as stockholders.
Then stock was redeemed from the Russian oil company. The nationalist
government spent nearly all pension fund money to buy MOL. Due to the
lack of own oil fields and totally devastated economy, the petrol
prices in Hungary hit highest in Europe. Instead, up to 80% of
vehicles carried `Great Hungary' stickers.

Viktor Orbán heads the Nationalist Party of Hungary. His father was a
Gipsy and mother was of Jewish descent. Orbán is married to Anikó
Lévai. Anyway, writing about Orbán is dull and not interesting. The
question is, whether Aliyev's money will save the Hungarian economy?
And a second one - did Azerbaijan really pay, or just teased it with a
carrot?

Karine Ter-Sahakian




From: A. Papazian