Budapest, December 4 (MTI) – The city of Budapest is ready to turn cash-strapped transport company BKV over to central government ownership but it will not accede to the nationalisation of the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK), Mayor of Budapest Istvan Tarlos said on Friday.
Government office chief Janos Lazar said on Thursday that if there is no change in BKV’s long-term financing, he would support efforts by the Prime Minister’s Office to “show what they could do from the same budget that the city has for running the public transport system”.
Tarlos told a press conference: “This is not a rational dispute”, adding that he would “await with interest whether the state will indeed take over BKV”.
According to Lazar, the government had already felt ready to take over BKV back in 2011, Tarlos said, adding that this policy did not seem to be shared across the government.
But if the Municipal Assembly votes to approve the plan and the prime minister and economy ministers also agree with Lazar’s “grand idea”, Budapest would only be getting rid of its “only insolvable problem”.
The Socialist opposition said nationalising BKV was a bad idea. Csaba Horvath, a Budapest councillor for the party, said the solution would be for the government to guarantee the extra 40 billion forints that is missing from the city’s public transport budget.