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Hungary’s Bookseller Empire Goes Bankrupt

As Hungary’s biggest bookseller goes bankrupt, a conservative author thinks the authorities should have intervened years ago to prevent Alaxendra’s debt to publishers accumulating.

In Magyar Nemzet, Zsuzsanna Körmendy describes how publishers have continued feeding the already insolvent book trading chain with their products. That seemed the only way for them to reach a large market. Thousands and thousands of books have in fact been sold, but the receipts disappeared in the vortex of Alexandra’s debt. Now the Union of Hungarian Publishers asks the government to bail the publishers out, lest Hungary’s colorful and prestigious publishing industry be decimated. Körmendy understands them. She warns nevertheless that tolerating malpractices drawing out for long years and then bailing out the losers is a dangerous mix. As long as that is to continue, she writes, ‘Hungary will never make a go of things’.

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