Jobbik: Metro upgrade slippage govt’s responsibility
Budapest, August 31 (MTI) – The slippage in the schedule to upgrade Budapest’s Metro 3 is clearly the responsibility of the government, and if there is an accident along the metro line then the cabinet must take the blame, opposition Jobbik Budapest lawmaker Marcell Tokody told a news conference on Wednesday.
Speaking ahead of a meeting of the City Assembly, the Jobbik politician said metropolitan lawmakers originally had been scheduled in February to debate bus replacement services covering the period of the metro’s renovation but, under government pressure, the assembly dropped the issue from the agenda three times.
The upgrade of the metro line, which carries 500,000 people each day and is generally considered to be in a poor state of repair, has been delayed because the government and metropolitan council have been unable to agree on the method of financing, he said.
Opposition LMP metropolitan lawmaker Antal Csárdi told a separate news conference that the issue of bus replacement services was “scandalous”. “Making the excuse of a national bus industry that does not exist, the government is trying to push its own circle of business interests,” Csárdi said, referring to a dispute between the government and Budapest over whether to lease buses for the period of the metro renovation or do as the government wishes, and wait until domestically made buses are available.
The opposition Socialists called on city leaders not to make decisions on reducing transport services in “secret chambers” but submit the issues to the public session of the assembly. Socialist lawmaker Csaba Horváth told a press conference before the assembly meeting that instead of “sneaky changes”, the city leaders should make it clear to Budapest residents what services are planned to be reduced.