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MSZP spokesman’s handling of the Ózd water crisis praised

August 10th, 2013

Népszabadság writes with relief about the role the Socialist Party spokesman played in getting the water restrictions lifted in Ózd, where Roma had to queue at roadside pumps in the record summer temperatures for several days.

The Ózd city council closed down 27 of the 127 roadside pumps and cut back the capacity of another 61, complaining that the population often used them to wash cars and water gardens, although they are meant to provide drinking water only (see BudaPost, August 7). The restrictions caused a genuine problem in the 15 town districts inhabited by Roma, where running water is not available. Many families had to walk up to 250 meters to and from the pumps and stand in line in the heat. Socialist Party spokesman István Nyakó MP was on the spot on the very first critical day, urging first the mayor and then the Minister of the Interior to have the pumps reopened at full capacity at least as long as the heat wave lasted. The Minister did intervene and the pumps which were shut down have been gradually put back into service.

In Népszabadság, acting editor-in-chief Levente Tóth . The water restrictions were too huge a blunder, and the nationwide and international outrage they caused would have forced the local authorities to retreat anyway. Nevertheless, for once, a party spokesman broke with the established habit of talking nonsense and behaved like a normal human being. Tóth remarks, in fact, that PR experts and spin doctors on all sides compel the spokesmen to become parrots and use the most primitive prefabricated diatribes against their parties’ opponents. Their statements could well be formulated by one single very simple software, no matter what side they are on – it would be sufficient to simply change a few names. Some of them, after serving for several years as parrots have been given important assignments where they have proved to be capable of normal human speech. Tóth begs parties to “set their spokesmen free”. The Ózd example, he suggests, shows they might find it profitable. “We certainly would,” he concludes.

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