Budapest investment award
Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary. Photo: MTI

The state secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office for Budapest welcomed Wednesday’s consultations with the city’s leadership on the renovation of the city’s landmark Chain Bridge, but warned that any delay would significantly increase the costs of the project and the time period of lockdown.

Balázs Fürjes told MTI that they had learnt half a year ago from Mayor Gergely Karácsony and a status report prepared by a group of engineers that the bridge is in a critical condition and would need immediate renovation.

“Since then, however, we have not received any further information from the municipality about the project so were surprised by the mayor’s announcement in May on the city’s decision to postpone the renovation indefinitely,” he said.

The state secretary noted that the government office asked the city leadership in a letter three weeks ago to clarify the situation but has not received any response ever since.

In fact

On June 5, Karácsony said in a statement that his office had postponed the next meeting of the Budapest Public Development Council and that he had personally informed Gergely Gulyás, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, of the decision.

The reason given for the postponement was that the draft budget for 2021 would deprive local councils and the metropolitan administration of vital resources, thereby creating uncertainty regarding the capital’s development and operations.

Budapest, the statement said, would become a net contributor to the state; namely, central subsidies for the capital would come to less than the payments of Budapest taxpayers into the central budget.

Once the government’s intentions have been clarified and the budget negotiated, a meeting of the Public Development Council for Budapest may take place, the statement said.

Budget

Fürjes welcomed that

the two sides finally met on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

The state secretary said the renovation of the Chain Bridge falls in the scope of the municipality but the government is ready to support the project. He added, however that the renovation should start as soon as possible and that the government “cannot support any further minute’s delay”.

“The government will help the work of the mayor with 6 billion forints (EUR 17m) and experts, if he so needs,” Fürjes said.

Gergely Karácsony in response said that the city’s leadership considers Chain Bridge “a national treasure” and will renovate it at all cost.

“Renovating the bridge may crush Budapest financially because the central government is about to take from the city as much funding as it would be enough to renovate the bridge at least once every year,” he said on Facebook.

Source: MTI

2 comments
  1. Immediately cease the bureaucracy factor that appears, in greater part ,that has developed relating to the URGENT need of repair to the Chain Bridge.
    Victor Orban and his Government – have been absolutely transparent in there Financial support to the need of repairs to the Chain Bridge.
    We ALL know the Historical reasons and the attractiveness through its location, the European Icon that it is, let alone to us citizens, the Chain Bridge “draws” tourism to our beautiful, historic and magnificent Country’s Capital City – Budapest, Hungary.
    It is a time, bought on by this novel coronavirus pandemic, that there will have to be PRIORITISZATION by councils and government, in there spending.
    We have to ALL accept this Fact. through the exemplary.
    Through the exemplary leadership of Prime Minister – Victor Orban and his Government, we have come through this first stage of this novel coronavirus relatively unscathed, in comparison to other countries in Europe and the wider world.
    Let us see, our much beloved Chain Bridge refreshed up-dated, and go on just as we have as a Country – our History -and be there for future generations of Hungarians and the wider world who visit our Country’s Capital City – Budapest.

  2. Fidesz had 10 years and did nothing, and now they are in a rush exactly when they take away a huge chunk of the funding from the city. Renovate the bridge with stadion money. BUT Step 1 that costs nothing: close the bridge for ALL vehicle traffic (incl busses) and allow only pedestrians and cyclists. That will alleviate the pressure for now.

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