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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 October 2010

Stalinism and capitalism - a toxic brew in Hungary

NEARLY 700 million litres of toxic red sludge poured from a ruptured industrial reservoir flooding three villages and polluting rivers in Hungary. Eight people were killed, hundreds injured and hundreds more evacuated as an area of 40 square kilometres was inundated. The authorities are hastily constructing a barrier to contain a threatened further spill of 500 million litres of poisonous waste from the aluminium plant.

This environmental catastrophe is a legacy of 50 years of aluminium production in the area - covering both the era of Stalinist bureaucratic mismanagement of the Hungarian economy, followed by privatisation in the 1990s when safety and regulation was subordinated to the rule of private profit.

Unbelievably the Hungarian Aluminium Production and Trade Company at the centre of the disaster initially attempted to dodge its responsibility by stressing that European Union rules meant that the waste product could be classified as "non-toxic".

The government has now 'temporarily' taken over the company having castigated it for corporate greed - an unwitting acknowledgement that capitalist ownership has catastrophically failed.

The managing director Zoltan Bakonyi has also been arrested on suspicion of criminal negligence; although this may have more to do with political rivalries in the country.

Zoltan is the son of Arpad Bakonyi, a businessman who played a central role in the privatisation of the country's aluminium industry and is the largest shareholder of the company now under investigation. The elder Bakonyi is also a close business associate of a former prime minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, who is a political arch-rival of current prime minister Viktor Orban.

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In The Socialist 14 October 2010:


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Strike back at pensions robbery

Protest against the Con-Dem's comprehensive cuts on 23 October

TUC must name the date for strike action

PCS fights to defend jobs and pensions


Socialist Students

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Socialist Party news and analysis

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Labour shadows show: We need a new workers' party!

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Save Wanstead Flats


Anti-racism

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Socialist Party workplace news

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Workplace news in brief


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Socialist Party Marxist analysis

The general strike: Important tool of the working class

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International socialist news

Stalinism and capitalism - a toxic brew in Hungary


 

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Related links:

Hungary:

triangleBradford Socialist Party: Hungary and the threat of the far right

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: The lessons of Hungary 1956

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Solidarity with refugees!

triangleGermany: refugee crisis and the fight against the racist right

triangleHungary's xenophobic right-wing government

Capitalism:

triangle75th anniversary of the Attlee Labour government

triangleCapitalism and corruption go hand in hand

triangleI left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

triangleA new movement for system change

Stalinism:

triangleYork Socialist Party: Tito and Stalinism in the former Yugoslavia

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Why socialists oppose stalinism

triangleBirmingham SW Socialist Party: The collapse of Stalinism

Waste:

trianglePlastic waste ignored

triangleCoronavirus - waste processing employers putting us at risk

Privatisation:

triangleBangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills

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