Andras Kornai writes:
> While the Horn government is displaying a remarkable amount of
> and unprofessionalism (especially for a government whose main campaign
> was expertise and professionalism!) it can hardly be said that they
> everything they touched. In particular the agreement with Slovakia was a
> major coup, and finally they started moving on the economy. "Better late
> than never" or "too little, too late" remains to be seen.
I have just returned from the land of the Horn. It is not exactly
cornucopia. The following are sundray observations. My visit related to a
major still govt owned colossus. They just renovated their office building
with $400.00 each office doors. It is too bad I was not aware of it, it
would have been a very profitable venture to supply them from the US.
Another ...impex company was finally kicked out of their prime real estate
location and they immediately bought another building renovated it and now
are in the process of a "management buyout" even though they have no
business left, the management will do well from the eventual sale or
rental of the real estate (albeit at taxpayer expense). On sundays there
is very noticably little traffic on the roads, it is not as economical to
operate personal automobiles at high gas prices, when company cars can be
used during week days (and often for private business during company
time). The offices I have visited had about as many phone calls on private
business as company business.
One of the lately cited hotels (Forum) has a Hungarian only sign in the
bathroom which claims to be an ecological action "If you hang up the towel
it means that you want to use it again, if you don't want to use it again
place it in the bathtub."
A lot of private housing construction going on at prices of $30,000 to
$100,000 range. Car sales are still booming. The gray economy is obviously
running better than the white one.
MOL pays more for natural gas to the Russians than what it gets from the
sale of the gas (at govt.set prices) to the public.
The major book sales are in the astrology and holistic medicine category.
Watched a public forum on TV with Bokros. he stated that he is suffering
also because he could get five times more in the private sector. (Mayhap
they are drafting finance ministers these days!)
In several stores I was told that I can get a significant discount if I do
not need a bill of sale.
There was a major run on the foreign currency accounts because the govt.
stated that they will NOT place any new regulations on them. (Good
Fodor is discussing a new educational act that would LOWER education
requirements to six grades from eight.
Milk imported from France is sold in some stores. Probably for au lait
There are many articles in papers, probably the worst one I have seen was
in the Delmagyarorszag, full of innuendos without any factual merit
Road crews (working girls) are evident all over the highways, real heavy
in areas closer to the Romanian and Ukrainian borders. Sorry, did not ask
Szeged became known as the maffia center due to the proximity to the two
borders with extensive smuggling, forged money currency exchange, break
ins and robberies rampant.
A large amount of the agricultural land is not planted because of problems
with clear title to the land.
The documentation of a major oil product thievery case completely
disappeared from the court files.
I have sampled several of Hugh's recommendations for private label wines
and they were pretty good.
What: Recital to raise money to support establishment of
the Rev. Attila Csongvay Memorial Clinic in the
village of Szentgerice (Galatini), Transylvania,
Romania, the location of our Unitarian partner church.
The recital will be followed by a reception with
Featuring: Octavian Slima violinist with the U.S. Airforce
Accompanist: Judy Harrison pianist, Music Director of the
Fairfax Unitarian Church.
Music: Vivaldi: Four Seasons
Mozart: Sonata K454
Bach: Solo Sonata
When: Sunday afternoon, April 9, 1995, 3:00 PM.
Where: Fairfax Unitarian Church
2709 Hunter Mill Road
Directions: Beltway to I-66 west, exit I-66 at Route 123
(Hunter Mill Road) toward Oakton. Go to third
stop light to Hunter Mill Road (at Appalachian
Outfitters store). Turn left onto Hunter Mill
Road, go about a mile. Turn right into parking
lot of Fairfax Unitarian Church at low wooden
church sign. It's just past the Morman Church.
Reservations: not required
Questions? Call: 703-860-2504 Bob Tripp
703-323-8293 Emery Lazar
| Michael D. Berger | "Above the clouds, the sun always shines." |
| | Csongvay Attila (1940-1993) |