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Company producing catastrophe nationalized in Hungary

The company which produced the biggest ecological disaster in Hungary’s history was nationalized on Tuesday, the next day after the arrest of its president, according to AFP. The bill for the nationalization of MAL Zrt company was approved with majority of votes in Parliament – 336 votes for, one against and 13 abstentions. The law was ratified by Hungarian president Pal Schmitt.

According to the law the government will freeze MAL shares and will set up a new leadership. According to premier Viktor Orban’s spokesman, Gyorgy Bakondi, the head of the service against disasters will become manager of the company.

Last week, one of the reservoirs of the aluminum works held by MAL company flooded surrounding localities with a red, very toxic mud. The accident caused the death of 7 persons, wounded 150 and provoked an ecological disaster. On Monday the Hungarian police arrested Zoltan Bakonsky, the president of MAL Zrt for 72 hours.

According to the latest data, MAL had in 2008 a business figure of 157 million euro. MAL is owned by Arpad Bakonsky, Lajos Tolnay and Bela Petrusz, who are the richest 30 people in Hungary. According to the daily Napi Gazdasag, Lajos Tolnay has an estimated income of 85 million euro, while Arpad Bakonyi and Bela Petrusz have 61 million euro each.
ANAR: Pollution wave reaches Romanian section of Danube River, water quality not affected
The wave of pollution coming from Hungary has reached the Romanian section of the Danube, but without affecting the water quality, informs the National Administration for Romanian Waters (ANAR).
ANAR has released this information after processing the water samples in the laboratory, including those collected at 9.00 a.m. on October 12.

The specialists will continue to monitor the physicochemical indicators (general indicators, hard metal content), according to the established plan.According to the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, the Danube's flow where the River enters Romania (the Bazias section, south-west) was 5,800 m s, and the pH value was 7.73.

A serious industrial accident occurred early last week in western Hungary, where several villages were flooded by a sea of toxic red mud after damage to the tank of an alumina producing installation.
The accident has caused concern in the Danube riparian states, alarmed by a possible vast contamination.
Environment Minister Laszlo Borbely: There is no ecological danger to Romania
Romanian Environment and Forestry Minister Laszlo Borbely on Tuesday said there was no ecological danger to Romania caused by the disaster which happened in Hungary last week, following the damage caused to the industrial waste tank of the bauxite-aluminium plant in Ajka town.

'The pollution wave has reached Romania, the water is drinkable and we have no reason to say there will be problems. There is no ecological danger to Romania. The pollution wave will be gone in two or three days,' Laszlo Borbely told a private television channel on Tuesday.

According to Agerpres, the Environment and Forestry Minister pointed out that there would be a council on the environment in Luxemburg on October 14 and Romania would state its position on this ecological disaster that is 'singular and very serious in Hungary's history.'

'We shall ask two things of the European Community; to add this substance to the list of dangerous substances, as at present it is not considered dangerous, and to provide a faster monitoring and intervention system. Hungary has been an European Union member state for 6 years and yet this disaster occurred,' Borbely said.