Thursday, 1 May 2014


PAI's public airing continues


The latest round of public attention in Hungary began on Friday 25 April, with a shock-horror article in the newspaper Népszava – summarised in English on Conductive World:

The only publication to take up this story was the magazine HVG, basically just repeating the item in Népszazava:

The same day, on the Pető Institute's website, Rector Franz Schaffhauser published a swift, defiant denial of Népszazava's story, threatening legal action. In rough English translation this reads –
The employees of the Pető Institute are very upset at the latest article concerning our Institute which was published today without any underlying truth, built on wrong assumptions and calumnies. We protest against and firmly reject the false, unfounded and incompetent assertions and conclusions that the article contains.
The Pető Institute will take the necessary legal steps immediately. 
Dr. Franz Schaffhauser

College Professor, Rector
Budapest, 25 April 2014

Full Hungarian text:

Hungarian summary:

At mid-day, under the heading 'The Pető Institute is ruined', Népszava published a short political follow-up story, saying that the present problems are no coincidence but the product of the Government's quietly working to bring the Pető Institute to spectacular destruction, so that it can be then be nationalised (at least, I think that this is what it says). This story too has not been taken up by the rest of the Hungarian media.

Nor has Franz's denial.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Then media silence. No further word, from either 'side' or from the rest of the Hungarian media. Nothing from politicians either.


A sudden flurry of further media interest was prompted by a public statement from Ervin Balázs, President of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee, with Népszazava again first off the mark. Approximately, this says (and I am most unsure of the specifics) –
The Pető Institute was discussed last Friday but the plenary meeting deferred its decision till a visit of a small, two-member subgroup could visit the Institute. The President said that of concern are primarily organisational issues, the individual lectures' loading and work-scheduling. The visitors would arrive in May and are hoped to report back to the full Committee within the academic year.
The newspaper reported that staff are being stretched stretched by commitments outside the walls of the institute, certain health elements are not in the curriculum and there are fewer appropriately qualified and experienced staff available. The Committee has issued warnings in the past and the paper contrasts the unique rehabilitation services and skilled professionals with a deteruorating internatinal reputation, refering to 'the once world-famous training'.
At least four papers carried briefer reports, substantially based upon Népszazava's. None of them carried any new material, and there was still nothing from politicians.


No further word from politicians, and once more silence from the press.


This morning the education paper Edupress did much the same:

No other papers have mentioned it today. There has been no further word from the PAI.

A week is a long time...

It is week since this story broke. Most newspapers seem to have steered clear of it and so too have politicians. For an outsider observer used to the behaviour of the press in the UK this all looks most odd. Harold Wilson once remarked that 'a week is a long time in politics'. If this is indeed a political matter, this week has is indeed been a long time

Whatever next?

Perhaps the clearest thing to emerge over the last seven days is that one might look forward to further media attention in May or June, when the visiting commissioners report, unless politicians get involved in the meantime or some other shock-horror emerges.

English language

Apologies for continual uncertainties about translation. Perhaps by the end of this week the Hungarian English-language press in Hungary will have taken this matter up and there will be rather more certain translations to report from somewhat nearer source.

Hungarian language

You can follow the Hungarian media on line (and look back a little into the archive) via the pages of Hírkeresó ('News-seek'):

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