Thursday, 30 March 1995
Volume 2, Issue 64
**HUNGARIAN OFFICERS CAUGHT WITH BRIBES AT SERB BORDER**
The Hungarian newspaper Nepszava is reporting that four
Hungarian customs officers were caught red-handed accepting
bribes to allow embargoed goods into Serbia in violation of
the UN embargo. The newspaper says the officers at the busy
Tompa crossing post accepted a bribe from a woman who worked
for a transporting company based at the crossing. According to
Nepszava, the customs commander at the crossing point has been
fired and 20 other officers have been transferred from Tompa
to other jobs.
**HUNGARIANS FEAR DISCRIMINATION AT AUSTRIAN BORDER**
Hungary dispatched its interior minister to neighboring
Austria yesterday to discuss a new western European
accord on travel without border checks that Budapest
fears will leave its citizens out in the cold. The accord
could affect Hungarians and other Central Europeans trying to
cross the Austrian border.
Hungarian Interior Minister Gabor Kuncze left yesterday morning
to hold talks with his Austrian counterpart Francz Loschnak in
Vienna and at the border village of Nickelsdorf. They'll be
discussing the Schengen accord, which permits citizens of
European Union member states to travel freely in each other's
countries. As the easternmost member, Austria will have to
tighten control of its external border with Hungary. A
Hungarian interior ministry official says the Austrians'
approach so far has been discriminatory against Hungarian
citizens, adding that Hungary is worried that once Austria
joins the Schengen accord, it'll establish a "fast lane" at
the border for Western European citizens and make others,
including Hungarians, wait in the "slow lane." The interior
ministry worries that could cost Hungary tens of millions of
dollars in tourism revenues, if tourists decide not to come to
Hungary because they fear a long wait to return to Austria.
Hungarian border guard spokesman Attila Krisan says Austrian
border staff have already tightened security three times this
month in what Hungarians believe are rehearsals for Schengen.
Some Hungarian drivers trying to enter Austria were forced to
wait about four hours during the last day of stringent
check-ups on March 20. Austria joined the European Union Jan.
1 and is set to sign the Schengen accord next month. But it
won't be able to participate fully for some time. -- Duncan
**POLAND STAYS IN THE ECONOMIC RACE**
Poland is trailing behind the Czech Republic and Hungary, but
it's still kept its fourth spot in a regular investment risk
ranking for east European countries. The Gdansk Institute for
Market Economy released the results of its survey of
investment risk yesterday. Institute analyst Zbigniew
Dworzecki says Poland is one of the few countries among the 14
surveyed, for which the risks didn't go up in the second half
of 1994. Dworzecki says with the exception of Poland, east
Germany and the Baltic states, all other countries saw their
investment risks rising in the last study period, mainly due
to increased political instability. Hungary slipped from the
second to the third spot in mid-1994. The ranking is based on
a poll of major international business groups which combines
evaluations of each country's attractiveness and importance,
legal system, economic performance and business climate.
**HUNGARIAN RETAILER WILL REINVEST DIVIDENDS**
Hungarian food retailer Global T.H. Befektetesi es Kereskedelmi
Rt doesn't plan to pay a dividend on its 1994 results. The
firm made that announcement yesterday, ahead of its annual
general meeting. The Gyor-based company will hold its
shareholders meeting on April 28. Global management is
proposing that the money that would have been paid out as
dividends instead be invested in the company's future
development. Specifically, Global plans to build up to 20 new
major supermarkets in Hungary in the next three to five years.
The company currently has 43 stores in Hungary.
**HUNGARIANS TRY TO CUT BUREAUCRACY**
Hungary's privatization minister has been quoted as saying the
merger of the country's two main privatization organizations,
the State Property Agency, or SPA, and the State Holding
Company, known as AV Rt, will take place in May. The daily
Magyar Hirlap also quotes Tamas Suchman as saying that after
the two bodies are united, SPA will become an autonomous unit
within the new body, to be called APV Rt, while AV will be
reorganized. The Socialist-led government has said it wants
to combine the two bodies to cut the administrative costs of
privatization and make the sales of state assets less
bureaucratic since it took office last July. Under a system
set up by the previous conservative government, SPA supervised
companies that were to be fully sold, while the biggest
businesses, in which the state intended to maintain a
permanent stake, belonged to AV's portfolio.
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A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
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