A couple of months ago our all-knowing government decided that smoking must be regulated in Hungary, therefore, they set a plan into motion to reorganize the tobacco industry. In the process they allowed people to compete for existing stores, which were already in possession of family businesses.
When the competition ended, families found themselves on the street without jobs. Meanwhile a lot of people, very close to the party, won several stores.
This didn’t go unnoticed by the people of Hungary, and with them, the opposition.
The battle is being fought, but life must go on. Tourists come into Hungary every day of the year, and among them, there are those who smoke. I understand that this is very bad and many studies have shown that smoke kills, not only the person, but the people surrounding them.
However, smoking is not for bidden in Hungary, therefore, if a tourist wants to buy a pack of cigarettes, he or she can do it. But as you can see in the picture above, they don’t have international signs that could lead a tourist into believing that it is possible to buy cigarettes there.
Because there is an 18 or above restriction sign on the door, people – who do not speak Hungarian – think that it is an adult store.
Naturally, I don’t have an issue with this. I don’t care if tourists can buy their daily cigarettes or not. However, it is a shame that these stores cannot put up signs in other languages.
Is that not good for business?
There is another, long term, problem with this: replacing the small family businesses with this new government-controlled chain of stores will not only damage the tourist industry, but the whole economy of the country. People will not trust the government any more because now the market is not free.
The upcoming elections might bring us new leaders, and they might be willing to give these stores back to the families, they can not undo do the damage that this government has caused.
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