Cover Osteuropa 10/2010

In Osteuropa 10/2010

Mud Slinging
Hungary: The Dam Break and Its Consequences

Karin Bachmann

Deutsche Fassung


Hungary experienced in October 2010 the worst ecological disaster in its history. Not far from the town of Ajka, a reservoir containing toxic industrial waste broke. A red alkaline sludge polluted with heavy metals poured over an area of 40 square kilometres, with the result that several rivers are now biologically dead. The government responded promptly and conducted a smart information policy. It remains to be seen whether Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will succeed in passing on full responsibility to the previous government and the operators of the aluminium work that owned the reservoir.

(Osteuropa 10/2010, pp. 51–58)