Friday, December 29, 2006

2006: A Terrible Year for Hungarians

In 2006 there were often headlines on Hungary. Unlike past years, in this year there were even breaking news in CNN and BBC about this small country. At the same time, Hungarians were not delighted with it.

I am mentioning just some bad things of the many which Hungarians experienced in 2006.

Severe floods hit the Danube and Tisza rivers in Hungary in spring which damage was more than € 500 million. To be honest, Hungarians got used to floods, and the damage was not as severe as it was in Romania, but many people’s home destroyed in Hungary, too.

On August 20 about 2 million people were watching the fireworks display on the streets of Budapest which is performed every August 20 when Hungarians celebrate the founding of the Christian Hungarian Kingdom when a rainstorm broke. The wind toppled trees and triggered panic among the huge crowd. Five people died and more than 250 injured on that night.

In September and October anti-governmental protesters demanded the resignation of PM Ferenc Gyurcsány who had admitted lying about the economy to win the elections. The street protests lead to clashes with police. The far right-wing protesters, among others, set ablaze cars, stole a tank, and laid siege to state television headquarters. Here are some videos of the riots.

In the middle of October a Hungarian teacher was lynched by a group of gypsies in Olaszliszka after accidentally hitting a young girl with his car who didn't even injured. The young daughters of the teacher had to watch their father hit to death and were threatened to be raped. The gypsy question in Hungary is a deep-rooted problem which is unlikely to solve in the near future.

In November Ferenc Puskás, the legendary footballer, one of the best footballers of the history of the game, left us at the age of 79. Puskás was the striker of Hungary's golden team and won Olympic gold with Hungary and 3 European Cups with Real Madrid. He was the best-known Hungarian of the 20th Century.

Luckily, some good, happy things also happened in Hungary. For example, the Hungarian Formula-1 Grand Prix was so exciting that many newspapers said that it was the race of the decade. In addition, Zsolt Erdei, the unbeaten WBO world champion defended two times his title at light heavyweight.

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