Thursday, September 28, 2006

Budapest Crisis, September 2006

All Europe and probably the whole world was following the violent events in Budapest this September. I too was watching daily news with great attention because Budapest was my home for 2 years. I have great memories about Budapest - beautiful, full of sunshine - you can read my story about THAT Budapest in the archives of my Blog. Now I cannot stop wondering: what if this had happened when I was there? Would I have ever been able to finish my studies or would I have run away from this nightmare?...

I don't want to discuss the political side of these events, who is right or wrong but in my previous story I mentioned that Hungarians made an impression of a sad nation on me and also some of them told me that Hungary had the highst rate of suicides in Europe - there should have been a reason for that. So the government should have noticed that they lived next to a dormant volcano bound to errupt sooner or later.

Mostly I would like to dwell on the possible consequences of what had happened. First of all, in the recent years Budapest managed to establish itself as a great educational center of Easter Europe. Central European University attracted hundreds of students from all over the region every year. Will they choose Budapest as a place to study next year? Personally, I will think twice before recommending CEU to anyone due to these events.

Secondly, tourism industry will also suffer greatly, which accounts for a substancial share of the country's budget. Eventually, people naturally forget and they will travel to Hungary again but it depends when. A couple of months without tourists won't hurt too bad but, say, a year will. No one knows if this was the end of violence or there will be repetition of events in the near future...

Finally, investors. Will you invest your money in the country with high political risk? The answer is obvious.

It is so sad that those people who started this nightmare because, allegedly, the current government didn't do anything for the development of Hungarian economy in the recent years , actually themselves underminded the country's economy even more by this sequence of unfortunate events.

I wish to see Budapest in its former beauty and glory - will it ever happen again?...

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