Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

By JUSTIN SPIKE, associated Press

Budapest, Hungary (AP) – The owners of a family-run café in a leafy district of the Hungarian capital planned to engage in an adventure of civil disobedience on Monday, but reconsidered after the government issued a decree there Done which will be thrown away already. Businesses struggling in bankruptcy.

Before the arrival of the coronavirus epidemic, Cucco Coffeehouse in Budapest offered fine coffee and pastries, sandwiches, ice cream and breakfast to most local residents from its designer Italian espresso machine.

Like many small businesses, it continued to struggle to limit Hungary’s pandemic restrictions as to taking on limited bars and restaurants, and forced the dismissal of all six of its employees.

But as bankruptcy threatened, the owners, married couple Olga Miskolki and Attila Blahoe, decided not to take it down: On Monday, the couple planned to join more than 200 other businesses in Hungary, so that Open your doors to dine-in guests. Overriding Epidemic Rules.

But a government decree issued on Saturday imposed harsh punishments for restaurants that broke the ban, which Blahoe said represented “a clear threat” from the government that his business cannot face.

Blaho said, “We would have been very happy to have the line up (to open) if we were just paying a plain fine.” We need to give voice to the idea that we will not tolerate it anymore.

“But now it’s not just a penalty – it’s about taking our business away from us for six months or a year. It’s a very tough fight, and a unilateral display of strength.”

Police may now require businesses that break epidemic rules to close their doors for six months and issue fines of between $ 4,000 and $ 17,000, which along with other businesses, can be used to fund their plans. Punishes from rearing to reopen.

On Sunday, the couple attended a Budapest demonstration of around 200 hospitality entrepreneurs and workers, demanding a rethink of Hungary’s pandemic sanctions, the first public expression of a growing movement pressuring the government to take action in the region. Which shrunk to $ 1.4 billion. Last year.

The demonstration was dispersed by police, and two of its organizers say they were fined $ 1,700 each for banning public ceremonies.

Hungary’s pandemic lockdown, which began on 11 November, is near its three-month mark, and was extended last week to 1 March, requiring a hard-hitting hospitality sector, yet with little government assistance. With another month.

More than a quarter has been paid by the government, to date, for assistance given to individual strippers, $ 68 million, and many businesses say they have not received any help.

“We applied for state aid last autumn, but so far no help has come, and it will be so low that unfortunately it will not help,” Mishkoli said.

While the Hungarian government has promised to accelerate the distribution of aid, business owners such as Miskoli and Blahoe have had to reach into their pockets to be permanently closed. They said they are earning about 10% of what they would need to break, and have spent about $ 17,000 of their savings since the onset of the epidemic.

Mishkolasi said, “The bills keep coming … and since there is not enough revenue, we are forced to finance (business) out of our pocket, and we can’t do it anymore.”

Opposition politicians and some health experts have urged a reevaluation of pandemic sanctions to protect the interests of service personnel and provide some relief to Hungarians struggling under the psychological weight of the long lockdown.

Blahoe said that capacity restrictions, social distinctions and the wearing of mandatory masks would allow patrons to see their business safely, and prevent business owners from choosing between breaking the law and going out of business.

“We don’t want to break any rules, we are not encouraging people to break the law, but we are raising our voice to ask for help,” he said.

“If we don’t get help, they should let businesses operate in such a way that they can make a profit before bankruptcy. There is no other answer.”

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