Budapest mayor István Tarlós has said he would be willing to examine the option of holding a referendum on a controversial proposal to build a mobile levee on the Római embankment of the Danube in Budapest. He added, however, that his view on the need to build the levee had not changed.
Tarlos told a news conference on Wednesday that if the municipal assembly wanted a referendum, he would not veto it.
“I maintain that I am willing to raise the possibility of referendum,
but with the attendant risks while waiting for the [supreme court] Kúria’s decision; and I cannot change my own position,” he said.
Csaba Horváth, the Budapest representative of the opposition Socialists, said that Tarlos was not supporting the referendum because he was afraid of people’s opinion. In his capacity as former 3rd district mayor and as Budapest mayor, Tarlós has been unable to resolve the problem of flood protection at the Római embankment for 27 years and he instead threatens those who seek a solution, Horváth told a press conference.
The green opposition LMP accused Tarlós of backtracking on his earlier promise, saying that the mayor had previously clearly stated that he would initiate a referendum on the levee.
The best location for a levee cannot be determined unless soil and fluid mechanics tests are done,
Budapest representative of the party Antal Csárdi told a press conference.