Several top officials of the Hungarian Meteorological Service (OMSZ) signed a letter in which they would like László Palkovics, the minister of innovation and technology, to withdraw the dismissal of the institute’s head and vice-head. Palkovics decided to fire the top officials, chairwoman Kornélia Radics and vice-chair Gyula Horváth because the OMSZ said there would be thunderstorms on 20 August. Therefore, the government postponed the fireworks, but the rain did not arrive.
Weather prognosis did not come true
As we reported earlier, the government-close newspapers started to slam the OMSZ immediately, saying their prognosis was wrong. On Monday, the minister responsible fired the head and deputy head of the OMSZ, a decision almost all international media outlets reported.
Today, the OMSZ issued a statement signed by many of its top officials in which they requested the abolishment of the minister’s decision, MTI reported. They added they wanted an independent investigation of the issue to shed light on the activity and decision-making process of the operative board. Furthermore, they would like the investigation results to be made public.
Moreover, they would like an independent committee to evaluate the meteorological forecasts for 2à August. They also want those results to be shared with the public. In the meantime, the top officials of the OMSZ would like Mrs Radics and Mr Horváth to be reinstated in their positions.
Government pressure on the OMSZ
They added that such investigations are needed to restore the professional authority of the institution. The OMSZ has been taking part in the operative board’s work since 2006, and they always gave the best of their knowledge. They said they did so this year, as well. They even conducted extra calculations to be able to give the most precise forecast possible.
They highlighted that there was pressure on them from the part of the government. That had an effect on the communication of their forecasts, which neglected the uncertainty of their prognosis even though that is a characteristic of their profession. They cleared that Palkovics’s decision is nothing more than passing on the collective responsibility of the operative board to the OMSZ. They added they could not work under such political pressure, MTI reported.
Some politicians and opposition parties expressed support for the top officials of the OMSZ. They include Jobbik, Tibor Déri, the mayor of the 4th district, and former opposition PM candidate Péter Márki-Zay, hvg.hu wrote.
- Read also: PHOTO report on the 20 August celebrations
The vice-head was not even there, he was on holiday
G7.hu reported that the OMSZ wanted to postpone the time of the decision about the evening fireworks on 20 August. The news outlet wrote that the meteorologists requested a decision at 3-4 pm because then they would have had more precise data. However, the leader of the operative board, Zoltán Kovács, Hungary’s international spokesman, ignored their bid.
Gergely Gulyás said that firing the two top OMSZ officials was because of their “lack of competence.” Gyula Horváth issued a statement today saying nobody ever criticized his work. Moreover, PM Viktor Orbán decorated him in 2020. When he spoke with secretary Anikó Raisz, she did not mention a reason. Horváth worked for the OMSZ for 22 years. Now he has to accept the government’s decision even though he did not take part in the work of the operative board since he was on holiday, 24.hu reported.
Read alsoWhy is 20 August Hungary’s national holiday? Here is what we celebrate
Source: MTI, hvg.hu, 24.hu, g7.hu
please make a donation here