Speaking at the new municipal assembly's first meeting after his oath-taking, Karácsony said there should not be any "second-class" citizens of the city. He said municipal leaders must serve the interests of residents. Further, people had a fundamental right to a roof over their heads.

Also, the city would contribute towards efforts to combat climate change. City leaders, Karácsony said, will work to protect Budapest's architectural heritage and natural environment, and preference will be given to sustainable forms of transport. The mayor pledged that city leaders will consult residents on all major issues. The city's operations must be transparent and free of corruption, he added.

Meanwhile, Csaba Horváth, the mayor of the 14th district, told a press conference that the Socialists have the most representatives in the new Budapest assembly. "Budapest will no longer be in opposition; a new majority has been formed," he said before the assembly meeting. He announced that Socialist politician Kata Tüttő will serve as deputy mayor in charge of operating the city's public services.

The Budapest general assembly consists of 33 members: the directly elected mayor, the mayors of the capital city's 23 districts and nine representatives who have won their mandates via compensation party lists. The opposition parties have 17 representatives: seven Socialist, four Democratic Coalition (DK), four Momentum and two Párbeszéd. The Fidesz-Christian Democrats have 13 representatives while three sit as independents.

Regarding the anti-corruption matter Karácsony noted that the city had already published "more information than required by law", but added that "the municipality should proceed along that path, further increasing the range of information released to the public". At its first session, the assembly also suspended preparations to erect a Saint Stephen statue in the park named after Hungary's first king. The assembly decided to reconsider the planned location in the south of the oblong park, and find another site for the contested monument if necessary.

The assembly announced a climate emergency in Budapest, and said the Healthy Budapest programme should be developed further. "Climate change is already affecting our everyday lives significantly. If we fail to take measures... we will be remiss in our duty towards further generations," Karácsony said.

The assembly has commissioned the mayor to review where the authority's institutions stand regarding carbon neutrality and the transition to green energy. The mayor will also review the city's action plans for extreme weather conditions and develop a climate change adaptation and mitigation plan, the assembly said.

# Mayor Gergely Karácsony

The assembly declared a ban on changes to the northern embankment of the Danube where the previous leadership had planned a levy, seen as controversial due to its alleged environmental impact.

In another development, the assembly banned implementation of the overtime work law at municipal companies. In his proposal, Karácsony said the law would seriously impact employees who could be made to work a "drastically increased" number of overtime hours.

The assembly passed a decision not to support major construction projects that have been planned but not started yet, such as the new National Gallery, in the City Park. According to the decision, the planned building sites should be parkland. The assembly authorised the mayor to negotiate with the government concerning its new measures and requested that Karácsony should prepare a proposal aimed at ensuring protection to the City Park as a historic garden.


PM gives Tarlós new job

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has appointed István Tarlós, defeated mayor of Budapest, prime ministerial commissioner in charge of national transport and public services infrastructure development. Tarlós is considered the most experienced and most successful municipal expert in Hungary, the PM’s press chief, Bertalan Havasi, said. Orbán and the Hungarian government would rely on his expertise and suggestions in their future work. Tarlós was mayor of Budapest between 2010 and 2019, losing in the October 13 local elections to Gergely Karácsony, the opposition's joint candidate.


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