Budapest (MTI) – Budapest will not take responsibility for the upgrade of the third metro line unless the adequate funds are available, as this would be illegal, Mayor of Budapest István Tarlós said on Friday.
The bids the city has received for the upgrade are “strangely overpriced in a similar way”, that is, all the bids are higher than the 137.5 billion forint (EUR 448m) upper limit set in the tender, Tarlós told a press conference. He said this fact is hindering the starting of the project.
The mayor said it is untrue that the government was providing 200 billion forints for the upgrade and that there were “no guarantees set down in ink”. He also said if costs rise, Budapest could lose the expected European Union funding for the project, too.
Government office chief János Lazár said on Thursday that the government had so far allocated 200 billion forints towards the metro upgrade, and that it was prepared to provide additional funding if needed.
Tarlós rejected accusations that his earlier suggestion that the metro upgrade was in danger and could be cancelled were part of political tactics or his own bitterness. He said he was very committed to the metro upgrade and was disillusioned at the government’s lack of professionalism in this matter.