Hungarian Rhapsody: A Town That Won The West

Istvn Balsay can spend hours recounting tales of the glorious history of Szekesfehervr, the place where Arpad, Hungary's founding father, is said to have set up camp more than 1,000 years ago. But the 48-year-old Balsay has learned to rein in his emotional lectures. As mayor of Szekesfehervr from 1990 to 1994 and as a member of the national Parliament since then, his primary mission has been to rebuild this industrial city of 120,000, just 36 miles southwest of Budapest, after the collapse of Soviet markets bankrupted its key companies.

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