The National Election Committee (NVB) has fined the mayor of Budapest over 500,000 forints (EUR 1,320) for failing to return more than 600 signature slips.Continue reading
As bins in the capital fill up fast as a result of a strike action by waste collectors, the political blame-game was guaranteed to follow.
The Mayor’s Office, headed by liberal opposition politician Gergely Karácsony blames the collectors’ low wages on the state waste management holding company withholding part of the garbage fees paid by the citizens of Budapest. However, according to an article in the financial news portal VG.hu, this year the state-owned company has already transferred 1.4 billion forints more to the capital than it received from the garbage fees, and paid out an additional billion for the garbage collection. To date, Karácsony and the capital’s utility company, led by Imre Mártha, have not initiated any formal proceedings over what they claim is a billion-forint debt owed to the state, which they claim has been outstanding for years.
The mayor and the Budapest utility company led by the billionaire Bentley-driving playboy manager Imre Mártha are pointing the finger at the government. The problems have erupted on Tuesday when garbage collectors went on an unannounced strike on account of a promised pay rise that has failed to materialize. The situation was further aggravated when a representative of their unions has tried to reason with them claiming that their earnings are in line with salaries in the sector.
On his social media page, Gergely Karácsony added that an increase in the wages of garbage collectors would only be possible if the government garbage holding company paid off its debts and returned “the 15 billion that it took from the garbage fees of the people of Budapest”. Except that, according to VG.hu, the figures show the opposite of what Mayor Karácsony is talking about. According to available information, the National Waste Management Coordination and Asset Management (NHKV), a state waste company, has no debts to the capital’s company.
As of now, the Budapest utility company has not submitted any written request for the HUF 15 billion mentioned by Karácsony, nor has it initiated any legal proceedings. This year’s financing figures are even more revealing, as the Budapest utility company received more money than the residents of the capital paid in garbage fees.
Whoever will win the argument, the capital’s citizens are hoping that their rapidly filling bins will be collected sooner than later.
Featured Photo: Facebook Gergely Karácsony