"Think about it: When you see a luxury car drive down the street, do you assume it is owned by someone who earned it by creating or working at a real business focusing on finding and serving real customers? Or by greasing connections and gaming the EU’s highest VAT rate? Do business partnership you know of here in Hungary usually end up well? Have you ever heard of a local company that has gone bankrupt and left behind meaningful assets for its creditors, rather than seeing them spirited off by unscrupulous managers?
No wonder business has such a bad name in Hungary, and Hungary such a bad name in business.
Truly: Is there anyone in this room who came to Hungary to build an honest business and would today choose to do it all over again here, rather than in some other place? Or to recommend that someone else give today’s Hungary a try? And how many people do you know – Hungarian or otherwise – who have simply left Hungary, or are considering leaving?
These, I know, are troubling questions, but they are questions that need to be asked – and answered.
Equally troubling is the reaction of the local business establishment to this sorry state of affairs, which seems to mostly consist of cozying up to the very forces that have created this disaster, in hopes of sharing in the increasingly small pot of spoils.
Where is the outrage?
Unfortunately, the BBJ doesn’t seem to have played the leading role it could have in helping right this situation."