The capital cannot complete the biodome without further government involvement. However, Budapest could go bankrupt if the state reclaims the tens of billions of forints it gave for the half-finished biodome.
The biodome has been a source of continuous debate between the Hungarian government and the capital in recent years. Construction started in August 2017. Originally planned to cost HUF 12 billion (EUR 31.7 million), the project had already increased fivefold by February 2020, for which the government blamed the director of the zoo. The capital has no money to complete the biodome, so it wanted to hand the whole project over to the government. By February this year, the government still did not give an answer to the proposition.
A hearing on the zoo biodome was held this week. Not even half of those invited attended the meeting. Miklós Persányi, the former director of the zoo and the project’s founding father, and Sándor Scheer, the CEO of Market Építő Zrt., did not show up. The experts present (public procurement consultants and technical inspectors) all said that they were not in a position to make decisions and that they had always acted in accordance with the client’s wishes.
According to Népszava,
even though the building was completed within the HUF 45 billion (EUR 119 million) budget finally granted by the government, there are still a huge number of things that would need even more money.
The furnishing, the introduction of plants and animals, the construction of the access system, the restaurant and other service facilities are all still to be completed. For this, less than HUF 6 billion (EUR 15.8 million) of state funding remain. Instead of living creatures, this money could at best be spent on painted palm trees and sharks.
“This was a complete preparatory material with licensing plans, economic calculations for construction, operation, and return on investment,”
said László Kozó, the former operational director of the Budapest Zoo. According to him, the building is ready, it just needs to be filled.
As we can read in hvg.hu’s article, the biodome cannot be completed by the capital without further public involvement. However, it cannot be demolished or used for any other purpose either. In addition, the half-finished project could even bankrupt the capital city if the new government reclaims the €38 billion spent by the state on the project at the end of June when the contract expires.
Source: nepszava.hu, 168.hu, atlatszo.hu