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Minister announces new regulation for party spots

Interior minister Sándor Pintér announced new, stricter regulations on party locations in Hungary.

The revised rules were introduced in the wake of an incident at Budapest’s West Balkán in January, when the heavy overcrowding in the place led to three young girls being trampled to death.

The earlier regulatory regime only required operators to register themselves. They were then already allowed to host events, but the official inspection of the site only occurred 30 days from submitting the application. This loophole allowed owners to have parties straight away, then revoke the registration before the 30 days elapsed, then submit it again to keep going without ever having to go through the inspection process.

Pintér said the new system will hold all operators to a rigorous evaluation by the police, the fire department and healthcare officials before certification can be granted.

The penalties for violators have also been raised, since the amounts in the previous setup were not sufficient deterrents, Pintér said. As such, the fines for breaching fore prevention standards may reach HUF 2 million, events resulting in personal injury due to the owner’s negligence HUF 3 million, and the maximum fine for other misdemeanors HUF 250,000.

Regarding the West Balkán case, Pintér said that the police investigation has been completed and the 2,000-page documentation has been transferred to the prosecutors with recommendation to press formal charges against the eight people suspected to be responsible for the tragedy. (BBJ)