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Poultry plant closes temporarily in Békéscsaba

Some 800 workers of the Békéscsaba poultry processing plant in southeast Hungary were sent home on forced vacation due to liquidity problems caused by bird flu scare, the company's communications director said on Wednesday.

Poultry processing began making losses after poultry consumption and retail prices had dropped over the fear of bird flu, Peter Zoltán, representative of the owner Carnex group, said. Zoltán said the plant had piled up hundreds of millions of forints in debts to suppliers and utility providers, so the plant owners decided last week to close the poultry assembly line and lay off its workers. He added that electricity was turned off on Tuesday due to the liquidity problems. Zoltán said talks were underway with both the utility providers and the poultry suppliers since the plant had another 300,000 poultry to process. If talks fail, or unless the government intervenes, the plant may remain shut for good, Zoltán said.