Thursday, 7 August 2014


And it's hot

Central Europe swelters under the burning August sun. There are holidays, and festivals and summer programmes – but of course life goes on. Judith Muhari reports on one aspect of this, the renationalisation of the Pető Institute. Here are a few extracts –
The kids will not feel the nationalisation
There will be no lay-offs, the number of conductors will not decrease...  The leader of the new institute will be decided later.
This is interesting in that it seems the first public mention that there may indeed be change. It is not clear from the original whether this extends to 'management' in general.
The change-over on 1 September will settle all the debts, amounting to HUF 300 million Hungarian Forints [nearly 95,000 Euros, around £75.000 – no big deal in the grand scheme of things]. In addition private income from national and international projects will secure resources for some services. The Rector has hopes for new funding streams and confirms that there are no plans for lay-offs among conductors Currently there are said to be 300 on the pay roll.
The figure of 300 is repeated again and again by politicians and media reports. It is not at all clear whether this refers to the total number of conductors at the present PAI or the total staff there, including conductors.

Either way, the old adage applies –
'Costs walk on two legs.'
Any company doctor looking at the PAI over the last umpteen years would have been concerned with the total staff costs, however these are made up.

Mention is made on the future stability of funding for services, with a direct relationship between the state as funder, with no intervening organisation. Financing will be bolstered by treating the school as a practice school (which attracts additional funding). None of this is new, the following is –
The Senate will determine the design brief for an elected head of the new institution, for open competition in the near future.
Ms Muhari then repeats another theme that seems now integral to the official story –
Eight years the conflict has gone on
It was already known last summer that the Institute was in big trouble, but the conflict goes back to 2006. Over that time conflicts emerged between the institution's management and its supervisory bodies [the Board of the Pető Foundation] and there were also management problems too....
Perhaps this story serves some local, exculpatory function. In fact the problems of managemoent, financial control and and strategic direction at the Pető Institute and its governing Foundation, appeared to outsiders to go right back to its very beginnings more that twenty years ago, The problems spilling out well beyond Hungary.

Not long ago, the PAI's Rector reported that the Institute is getting ready for structural and organisational changes. It will be a long, hot summer for some. The kids might not feel the nationalisation – others will.


Muhari, J. (2014) The kids will not feel the nationalization, Origo, 6 August

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