The City Hall in Budapest – Photo: wikipedia

Budapest assembly accepts committee report on alleged City Hall sale plans

The Budapest municipal assembly on Wednesday voted to approve a report issued by an investigative committee appointed to examine alleged plans to sell City Hall.

The report adopted on Monday concluded that there had been no decision to sell the landmark building. Neither could the committee produce any evidence of any bids that had been made for the building.

The councillors of opposition Fidesz issued a report of their own saying that the documents available, leaked audio recordings, and witness testimonies all indicated that Budapest’s leadership had indeed wanted to sell City Hall.

Meanwhile, the assembly also approved an average wage hike of 15 percent for some 24,000 city council workers.

In another development, Fidesz councillors said the council’s decision to set up a committee to investigate property sales in the 5th district and the pre-2019 ones in the 7th district was an “act of revenge” and an “attempt to divert attention from the council’s muddled affairs”. Fidesz will therefore delegate no member to the committee, they said.

It is “highly questionable” if the municipal council has the right to exercise control over the sovereign district councils, district 5 mayor Peter Szentgyorgyvolgyi said.

Explaining the reasons for setting up the committee, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony said that “if we have investigated the nothing, we should also investigate the something”.

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