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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Town Run by Foreign Bank

The quaint town of Szentendre, 15 km north of Budapest, has made news today. Its municipality elected a new vice mayor, entrusted with the reorganization of the municipal authority, nol.hu reports.

As a creative move, the new vice mayor was proposed by Raiffeisen Bank--an Austrian consumer bank with a significant market share in Hungary--and half of the new vice mayor's salary will be paid for by the bank. According to the town's mayor (representing the party currently on government in Hungary, promoting itself through a fervently nationalist, "anti-bank", "anti-EU" rhetoric), this "partnership" makes sense because Raiffeisen not only handles the town's accounts, but also holds the town's bonds [sic].

Why stop there? This opens up a host of new possibilities. East-central Europe continues to be the source of creative experimentation. So to speak.

Welcome to capitalism without even the surface appearance of democracy.

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cover page of the book

cover page of the book
image used for the cover design by Anannya Dasgupta