Monday, November 28, 2005

Extra! Extra! Hungary Has Almost No People Living In Poverty!!

Budapest, Hungary.

According to the November 24, 2005 edition of The Economist magazine, Hungary has almost no people living in poverty. [See entry below.] Budapest, with a population of 1,734,083, is the sixth largest city in the European Union, according to its 2003 population estimate. If Ukraine joins the European Union, its capital Kyiv will be the fourth largest city in the E.U. The U.N. estimates the population of Minsk, Belarus to be about equal to that of Budapest

The Romans occupied the region of Budapest over 1,900 years ago. See Aquincum Óbuda.

Photo credit: Ricks at via composer Michael Kaulkin's blog.


Blogger macskuli said...

that is not quite true. You have to go to Moszkva Ter (=Moscow Square) at 5pm any day. That is where free food is distributed to the homeless - you will see a huge crowd!

3:00 AM  
Blogger Daniel Wolf said...

I lived in Hungary for five years, until July of this year. You can not live in the country without witnessing the growing gap between the poorest and wealthiest portions of the population. While homeless, unemployed, underemployed, and the working poor are very much in evidence in Budapest and the well-touristed regions in the west, it is in the countryside, and critically in the Northeast of the country, that one encounters an acute structural poverty that has developed continuously since the change of systems. The inevitable opening of the EU to the Ukraine has already begun to further stress this population.

The change of systems has been particularly hard on musicians. Before, musicians were treated as professionals and paid as well (or as badly) as other professionals. While most other professions have seen some recognition of inflation in their salaries, this has not been true for musicians. A full-time orchestral player in a major ensemble may now take home little as 200 USD per month, and additional income from teaching, touring, and simultaneous "full-time" contracts is essential to survival. In addition, live gigs for musicians playing in light settings (restaurants, clubs) have become extremely rare, and this has had a particularly bad effect on musicians from the Sinti and Roma minorities.

6:42 AM  

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