Budapest, August 27 (MTI) – Istvan Tarlos, backed by the ruling Fidesz party to continue as Budapest’s mayor after the October local elections, listed the completion of the fourth metro line, upgrading the bus fleet, sewer construction and redeveloping public spaces as his major achievements over the past four years.
In an interview to MTI, Tarlos said Budapest now had a better reputation abroad and in the past four years no corruption scandal had erupted in City Hall. Further, there were no strikes either, he said, adding that he planned to continue in the same spirit.
“Today there’s a different scent in the air of the city than four years ago.”
The plan for the next five years is to see through investments under way or in the process of preparation, he said.
For the period up to 2030, there is much preparatory work to be carried out, such as redevelopment projects on brown-field sites such as the Obuda gas works, and the Jozsefvaros and Rakosrendezo railway stations, Tarlos said.
At the same time, he vowed to reject a plan to widen the capital’s landmark Chain Bridge, though revamping it would be among similar projects, including replacing a further 600 buses, extending tram line No. 1 and renovating the famous tram line No. 2 that runs along the Danube on the Pest side. Further, he noted a project to replace the trains in the historical underground running along Andrassy Street and renovating the Metro line 3. Plans also call for replacing the Danube river boats.
The Budapest transport company BKV will remain in the hands of the City directorate, he said.
Tarlos vowed to fight for European Union funds in the face of competition from Hungary’s regions.
On the subject of the city’s homeless, he said he primarily wanted to strengthen social lines and advances had already been made on every measurable parameter in this area. At the same time, the functional points of the city should not be allowed to become unlivable due to rough sleepers, he said, adding that he must represent not only a few thousand homeless but 1.7 million Budapesters too.