Photo: MTI

Budapest mayor announces five-point programme

Gergely Karacsony, the mayor of Budapest, has announced his five-point programme for the period to come. In a video message posted on Facebook, Karacsony said his programme is focused on social solidarity, energy independence, development, commitment to a green transition and maintaining diversity.

On the occasion of August 20, celebrating the foundation of the Hungarian state by Saint Stephen, Karacsony said every political course has its own interpretation of Stephen’s legacy which “serves its own interests”. “What remains to be answered, however, is always the same question: How does this country relate to itself, its region, Europe and the world?”. “The most important component of the state-founding king’s legacy is that this question can only be answered on a moral basis”, the mayor said.

Karacsony criticised “the regime ruling the country” for interpreting the war in Ukraine and the crisis coming with it without moral considerations, without making any distinction between good and bad, without displaying any sign of humanity and solidarity.”

Karacsony said Hungary’s increasing dependence on Russian gas has deepened the country’s energy supply problems, adding that “even the intention to defend ourselves against climate change is missing”.

“The intention, and the money, is however there in Europe to tackle the economic, energy and climate crisis,” Karacsony said, adding that “the Hungarian government has no access to community resources” as Brussels had criticised Hungary’s rule-of-law record.

The mayor, representing the opposition, said if there is no change concerning the rule-of-law situation, “more serious austerity measures might come”.

Outlining Budapest’s tasks for the next month, Karacsony said, “Instead of misleading the public, the city will pursue a policy of solidarity, including support for those hit hard by utility price increases. It will implement green investments and energy efficiency projects to ensure the energy independence of its public services. Budapest will promote green development in public transport to offset the effects of climate change. Further, it will step up efforts to become a lively city and preserve its diversity.”

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