Small Hungarian villages may lose their post offices in 2023

Published: April 11 2023

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From 1st May 2023, hundreds of post offices located in Hungarian villages and communities with a population of under 1,500 may be forced to close permanently.

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This decision targets Magyar Posta (Hungarian Post), which has sought cooperation from the local municipal governments. This article discusses the possible consequences of this impending closure and Magyar Posta's solution alternatives.

What is the impact of the closure of post offices?

The permanent closure of post offices is likely to cause a significant disadvantage to the local population, as these services cannot be replaced by other means. The closure may be exacerbated by the departures of some 1,200 Hungarian Post employees, which was announced in February 2023.

What is the solution to this impending closure?

To avoid permanent closure, Hungarian Post urges support from local municipal governments to sustain their local services. Magyar Posta has no other option but to move towards the use of "mobile post (mobilposta)," meaning postal vans will systematically visit villages and communities without permanent post office coverage.

Affected communities are encouraged to seek cooperation with the local post office, as well as other businesses, to help maintain its services.

How are Hungarian Post and local municipal governments responding to the issue?

Magyar Posta has issued a letter to local governments, encouraging them to take over the operation of the affected post offices. However, according to the Mayor of Nagylók, some postal employees have previously brought up the possibility of closure.

Until now, only 45 affected offices have reached deals with local municipal governments to reopen them, out of the 366 previously closed temporarily. Hungarian Post has yet to announce its response to 24.hu's enquiries regarding the issue.

Why are post offices closing in Hungary?

The closure of post offices in Hungary was preceded by 366 temporary closures caused by a sharp rise in energy prices in October 2022, which forced the company to suppress its operations temporarily.

Most of the 366 shut offices remain non-operational. The layoffs of 1,200 Hungarian Post employees were driven by the goal of stabilizing its operations and will not affect the quality of services provided, according to the company.