Following the events of the last two weeks, more and more Hungarian cities are deciding to cancel the fireworks display on 20th August. According to the leadership of the concerned settlements, the money for the event will be used for developments and to support those in need.
At the beginning of this week, Salgótarján was among the first cities which announced that the fireworks display on 20th August would be cancelled. According to the mayor of Salgótarján, Zsolt Fekete, this decision has been made due to the events of the last two weeks in the country. The mayor also added that instead of the fireworks display, consulting sessions would be organised with tax consultants and accountants for those who are in trouble because of the change in small business tax (kata). The municipality will also organise consultancy sessions for those in Salgótarján who are likely to be seriously affected by the rise in electricity and gas prices. They will be given suggestions on how to save on electricity and gas in different types of housing, reports the Hungarian news portal Telex.
In his post, the mayor also revealed that environmental awareness played a role in the cancellation of the fireworks. Explosives contain toxic chemicals and substances that are harmful to health, and the gases released have a strong polluting effect on the environment. In addition, many pets and small animals suffer serious trauma during fireworks.
Following Salgótarján, Siófok, Szentes, Törökbálint, Pécs and Sümeg announced that this year’s fireworks on 20th August would also be cancelled.
The mayor of Siófok said that the city administration decided to take this measure “to express its solidarity with the suffering civilian populations of the nations affected by the war.” According to Róbert Lengyel, the decision to cancel the fireworks is a symbolic one that takes into consideration the current and expected economic difficulties. The fireworks display would have cost the city nearly HUF 2,000,000 (~EUR 5,015) which amount will be used to supplement the kindergarten meals, reports Telex.
Also due to the global changes that have taken place over the past few months, the municipality of Szentes has decided not to hold the fireworks show this year.
According to the Mayor of Törökbálint, the energy crisis caused by the war has also hit the families of Törökbálint. As they are facing hard times, the best decision is to save, therefore the fireworks show has been cancelled there as well.
The city of Pécs has also decided not to hold this year’s fireworks display. According to the mayor, Attila Péterffy, the local government will spend the money on climate protection and green solutions instead of costly parades, in order to create a more liveable and sustainable environment for the residents, reports the Hungarian news portal Blikk.
According to the mayor of Sümeg, “Everyone, the whole of Europe, including Hungary, is anxiously awaiting autumn and winter”. The city’s leadership decided to cancel the fireworks due to the upcoming changes in the utility bill reduction. By not having fireworks this year, the municipality of Sümeg will save EUR 1,255 (~HUF 500,000), which will be distributed among those in need. At the end of the post, László Végh highlighed that the decision was not against the government’s action, it did not affect the size of the fireworks display in Budapest.
According to current plans, this year, one of Europe’s biggest fireworks display will take place in Budapest within the framework of the programme series on 20th August. Presumably, the fireworks show will amaze people over the Danube for 32 minutes, but there will also be a large-scale four-day programme in the Hungarian capital. According to the National Tourism Agency (MTU), “the traditional fireworks show in central Budapest on the 20 August national holiday will cost a gross EUR 4.11 million (~HUF 1.65 billion), the same amount as last year”. Above this, additional costs can be expected for the event management services.
This year’s fireworks show is a divisive event among the Hungarian public. Accordingly, a petition has been initiated against this year’s fireworks that has been signed by 112,000 people until the beginning of this week. According to the organisers of the initiative, “instead of spending taxpayers’ money on a very polluting and expensive party, the government should spend it on stabilising the economy!”
Source: blikk.hu, telex.hu