Protesters to get a fair hearing on City Park project, says govt commissioner
Budapest, July 8 (MTI) – The company responsible for building developments in Budapest’s City Park, Városliget Zrt, has organised a forum to hear opinions on the Liget project under way, the ministerial commissioner for the project said on Friday.
László Baán told a press conference that the opportunity to voice an opinion had been available for five years. He insisted that the Liget project was one of the most debated government projects ever. He said the forum would provide an opportunity to share proposals and opinions.
“Naturally, some opinions will not be considered,” he said. Breaking the law and occupying a building site are unacceptable, he said, adding that violence would not be condoned either.
Police removed activists on Wednesday morning from the Hungexpo site, where they had been camped for over a hundred days in protest of the works planned. A demonstration was held in the evening at the site. Police started procedures against 63 activists and made 12 arrests. A 21-year-old French national was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence and expelled from Hungary for two years for “kicking an officer in the mouth”, according to a report by the municipal prosecutor.
The project’s 15 billion forint (EUR 47.6m) budget is Hungary’s biggest ever for revamping a public park, Baán said, adding that greenery in the park would expand from the current 57 percent to 65 percent.
Only 2 percent of 6,500 trees will be affected; the majority will be replanted and only “sick or invasive” trees will be felled, he said. Trees that are to be chopped down will be “generously” compensated for by planting new trees, he added.
Demolition of the Transport Museum building and the Hungexpo building have already started and the Petőfi hall will come down at the end of the year. The project is slated to finish by 2020, with the new museum buildings to be ready by 2019, Baán said.