Budapest, July 8 (MTI) – Budapest and the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB) have sent their bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne.
Hungary’s parliament voted on Monday to support the Hungarian capital’s bid to host the 2024 event.
Budapest’s Municipal Council voted to support the bid at the end of June.
Until a few months ago, Tarlos said it was “unrealistic” to raise the idea of Budapest hosting the 2024 Olympics. Last September, then-opposition mayoral candidate, Ferenc Falus, asked Tarlos whether he thought Budapest hosting the games was a realistic prospect, to which the mayor replied that Falus did not understand the city’s problems.
In February, the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB) proposed that the government and Budapest’s municipal council should consider bidding for the 2024 games.
In May, Mayor Tarlos said he “whole-heartedly” supported Hungary’s aspirations to host the event, arguing that it would “benefit the country in all respects”. Later that month, Secretary General of MOB Bence Szabo said “several people” at the congress of the European Olympic Committee “were interested in a possible Budapest Olympics and everyone thought that the Hungarian capital would be a great host.”
A June report on the feasibility study pertaining to the Budapest bid said “hosting the Olympics in Budapest is a feasible and worthwhile undertaking”, adding that the Hungarian bid is a viable contender for the 2024 games.
Political responses to parliament’s decision to support the bid were mixed.
Ruling Fidesz party MP Gergely Gulyas noted that opposition Jobbik, Socialist and Dialogue for Hungary (PM)deputies in the Budapest municipal assembly had supported the bid. The Socialists and PM deputies in parliament, however, voted against.
Opposition LMP lawmakers also voted against the bid in parliament. But party MPs said they would accept the majority decision. “A line must be drawn under this issue,” said Istvan Ikotity, adding that once a broadly based decision is made in a democracy with the potential to serve the nation, all parties should line up to support it.
The opposition Democratic Coalition said after the vote that Hungary did not have the economic resources to organise the games. Laszlo Varju, the party’s deputy leader, told a news conference: “Everyone knows that Hungary cannot possibly organise the games in 2024 and so it is wasteful to spend money on the bid.”
Liberal MP Gabor Fodor said he backed the bid but would withdraw his support at the slightest whiff of corruption concerning the related investments.
Fidesz said the cost of hosting the summer games would not exceed 774 billion forints (EUR 2.5bn), while expected revenues of 1.1 trillion forints (EUR 3.5bn) would generate 326 billion forints (EUR 1bn) in profits for the state budget. The radical nationalist Jobbik party, however, said those figures were “unrealistic”, noting that the London Olympics had cost an equivalent of 4,000 billion forints and the one in Beijing 11,000 billion forints to organise.