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A restaurant exclusively employing people with disabilities opened in Budapest’s 12th district local council building. The restaurant run by the Kék Madár Foundation is the Budapest branch of a team which already operates a similar establishment in the southern Hungarian city of Szekszárd. District Mayor Zoltán Pokorni told the opening event of the restaurant named Hegyvidéki Ízlelő that the district promoted openness and inclusivity and this is why he had supported the opening of the restaurant in the council building. Human resources ministry state secretary for social affairs Attila Fülöp said it was very important that people with disabilities should be given the chance to live a full life, and the state’s aim was to expand work opportunities for them. Starting from this year, the government has made the employment of people with disabilities exempt from labour-related taxes up to twice the minimum wage, he added.

Erste Bank President-CEO Radovan Jelasity told the event that the bank was set up 200 years ago with the aim of helping the poor and people with disadvantages. After having looked for ways to help the initiative for a long time, he said he was glad that Erste could get involved in “giving people a chance” under the arrangements of “social banking”.

Kék Madar Foundation managing director Andrea Mészáros said all the staff in their restaurants, except the management, are people with disabilities and the dishes are made from locally produced ingredients. Each staff member is offered a position that best suits his or her capabilities, she added.

The opening event was also attended by First Lady Anita Herczegh.