Budapest Council approves bid to host 2024 Olympics
Budapest, June 23 (MTI) – Budapest’s Municipal Council on Tuesday decided to support a bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.
Hungary in its current situation cannot afford to host the Olympics, the opposition LMP party said ahead of the vote on the proposal for Budapest to organise the Games in 2024. Antal Csardi, councillor for LMP, told reporters before the session that based on a study preparing for the Olympics the project’s budget looks “severely underplanned”. “Dreams and reality should be separated,” he said. The Budapest Transport Centre (BKK) has a 15 billion forint (EUR 48.13m) hole in its annual budget and the health-care system is ailing, Csardi said, adding that LMP would like to see the central government take on a third of BKK’s financing in the long-run.
The opposition Socialists said the Orban government “continues to reject the justified demands of Budapest residents”. Csaba Horvath, a Socialist councillor, said Budapest taxpayers contribute 15 billion forints a day to central coffers, yet government office chief Janos Lazar has recently denied funding of a similar amount to them and he has also hinted at a 7 billion forint cut in funding in the coming years. The Socialists however support Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics, Horvath said, citing the project’s potential to improve the country’s image.
The radical nationalist Jobbik party said it will support the bidding “in principle” in order to improve Budapest’s international assessment, despite its reservations on the preparations. Marcell Tokody, a Jobbik councillor, said there are concerns in connection with transport and accommodation provisions during the Games as well as on how the new facilities would be used after the Olympics. “A 774 billion forint budget for the Olympics is unrealistic” Tokody said, noting that costs of security services were not included. He noted that the London Olympics had cost an equivalent of 4,000 billion forints and the one in Beijing 11,000 billion forints to organise.