The city of Budapest and the government wish to build a closer cooperation in the future, Gergely Gulyás, head of the prime minister’s office, and Mayor István Tarlós told a joint press conference on Friday.
Gulyás said it was his first public appearance as a minister in charge of the PM’s office, and added that it indicated the government’s commitment to build “the closest ties” aimed at “faster and larger scale development” in Budapest.
Gulyás dismissed “rumours” and said that the new government was not planning to curb the city’s powers; on the contrary: state projects in Budapest will be tied to the mayor’s approval.
Tarlós said that
“rather than changing for the worse, ties between the government and the city will improve”.
Speaking at a press conference, Socialist city councillor Csaba Horváth said that Tarlós has “surrendered” Budapest. “The mayoral post was basically outsourced to below a state secretariat,” he said. The secretariat will be responsible for the ten-year development plan of the city, which should be the mayor’s task, he said. “Tarlós is proud what everyone else would be ashamed of,” he said.
During Tarlós’s tenure, the 500 billion forint (EUR 1.58bn) budget of Budapest was halved and the city’s independence, funds, functions and assets were “curbed or scrapped”,
he said. Horvath said that the government and the municipality should rather cooperate as equal partners and the government should re-channel at least 10 percent of the taxes paid in Budapest to the residents of the city.