Presenting in one concise package the week’s most important and fascinating national stories, whether they be economic, political, cultural, sporting or among the hundreds of other happenings that go on daily.
Wizz Air keeping low
Hungarian low-fare airline Wizz Air has put into service its first Airbus A321, which the company expects to further reduce its operating costs. An A321 costs 10 percent less to operate than A320s, CEO József Váradi said this week, and this should keep the company’s costs among the lowest in the European airline industry. With the launch of the new jets, Wizz Air has also refreshed its brand identity. The pink-cobalt colours apparently reflect “the forward-thinking attitude” of the company.
Have degree, will earn
High qualification is well rewarded in Hungary in terms of earnings, with workers holding university degrees earning double those with a secondary education, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says, adding that the large earnings advantage may in part be due to the relatively small share of people holding higher education degrees in Hungary. An OECD report said Hungary has one of the largest pay gender gaps among member countries. While on average, across the OECD, women with such degrees earn 73 percent of what men with university degrees earn, this figure is 64 percent in Hungary.
Migrant photos misleading: press council
Photos released by the media depicting police handling of migrants at Bicske railway station near Budapest in early September were misleading, the Austrian Press Council has ruled. It said that photos covering the migrant crisis must always be released in the right context. The press council specifically noted a photo of Hungarian police reaching for a migrant and his family who are lying on the railway tracks. According to the caption, police wanted to take the family to the town’s refugee camp against their will. Several readers complained to the press council that the photos covering the events were misleading. The council said the man deliberately dragged his wife and son onto the railway tracks, and did not fall there because of police intervention. The press council said the photos misled the public and implied police brutality. It said that if photos are released in the wrong context or if coverage about an incident is inaccurate, the news organisation has a duty to issue a correction. The Austrian Press Council is a self-regulatory body established to handle complaints about content in the country’s news outlets. Its rulings are not legally binding.
Black Friday wallets ready
About one million people, or a fifth of Hungarian internet users aged 18-59, planned to make a purchase in the sales advertised for Black Friday, a marketing poll has revealed. More than 70 percent of those surveyed had heard about Black Friday and 22 percent planned to buy something in a sale. A majority, or 54 percent, of these planned purchases were to be made online, while 11 percent said they would shop only in a store.
Fat fines for diet claims
Competition office GVH has fined several dietary supplement companies a combined HUF 14.1 million for misleading consumers about their products containing devil’s tongue extract (glucomannan). GVH said companies advertising dietary supplements must comply with the regulations governing the advertising of food products, which stipulate that health effects cannot be attributed to such products and health claims can only be made within narrow limits, in accordance with strict European norms.
All’s well at Siófok hotel
A four-star hotel built for HUF 1.7 billion with the involvement of Hungarian financing firm SH-Fejlesztő was inaugurated in Siófok at Lake Balaton on Monday. The firm received a HUF 1 billion state and European Union grant for the project. The Hotel Yacht Wellness and Business will offer health tourism services and traditional accommodation services, SH-Fejlesztő executive director Kornél Waller said. It will have 40 employees and rooms for 205 guests from the end of January.
Power Angels to invest in startups
Five investors, among them former finance minister Péter Oszkó, have established “Power Angels” to support startups. The company aims to invest more than HUF 1 billion in around 30-40 startups in the near future with amounts limited to HUF 50 million for any individual concern, said Oszkó. Power Angels is targeting startups with no capital, in their early stage of development, but with innovative ideas holding strong growth potential.
Hungarian workers on rise in Germany, UK
The number of Hungarians with official working permits in Germany and Britain has increased over the past two years, the daily Magyar Nemzet says, citing the statistical offices of the two countries at the end of last year. About 80,000 Hungarians are working in Germany and 55,000 in the UK. In Germany the number of Hungarians registered as in work grew 70 percent from 2012 to 2014, the paper said. According to the German Statistical Office, out of 115,000 Hungarians residing in Germany, 80,000 were in registered employment. In 2012, the number of Hungarians in the country was estimated at 65,000, of which 47,000 were working. In Britain, 55,000 Hungarians aged 16 and above were working in 2014, up from 35,000 in 2012, according to the UK’s statistical office.
Homebirth midwife given suspended jail sentence
A Budapest district court has handed down a sentence of one year in prison suspended for three years to homebirth midwife Ágnes Geréb (pictured) in a non-binding ruling. The case of Geréb, a pioneer of homebirths in Hungary, goes back to 2007, when she was found guilty of professional negligence and prohibited from practising her profession for three years. The district court said in its ruling that Geréb had assisted with home births despite the ban imposed on her, including a birth in 2009 and two in 2010. The court said she was also guilty of persuading a couple to forge documents. Geréb was apprehended by police in October 2010 while she was assisting another birth. She was first placed in pre-trial detention. Geréb was sentenced in a binding ruling for two years in a prison in February 2012 and was prohibited from practising for ten years. She was held under house arrest until February 2014, when it was lifted under a restriction of movement order. Geréb’s lawyer said they had appealed against the district court ruling.