The government backs the idea of consulting Budapest residents in a referendum on whether they want Fudan University to be located in the capital once the facts related to the investment are fully known, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff said in an interview to media outlet Mandiner on Sunday.
Asked whether or not a Fudan University campus will be built in Budapest, Gulyás said the investment was not at a stage suitable for public debate.
Once the plans and financial terms are clear in around 18 months’ time, then a public debate should take place, he added.
Responding the opposition’s claim that Fudan University was proof of the government’s commitment to the East in preference to the West, Gulyás said that as a NATO and EU member Hungary need not make declarations of allegiance to the West.
“Despite ongoing disputes, they are our allies,” he said, adding that whereas Hungary formed part of the Western system of alliances it also sought equable relations with the world’s major powers, including China and Russia.
Meanwhile, commenting on the opposition’s primaries, Gulyás insisted that the leader of the leftist Democratic Coalition, Ferenc Gyurcsány “and his people”, were busy in the background striking deals as to who the candidate for prime minister and many individual constituency candidates should be. He said that if the opposition prevailed in the 2022 general election, Gergely Karácsony, the current mayor of Budapest, would likely end up being the premier and Gyurcsány’s wife, Klara Dobrev, would be his deputy.