Istvan Tarlos - Photo:

City leadership wouldn’t be blameless in potential Budapest bankruptcy, says former mayor

The current Budapest administration would be "far from blameless" if the capital were to go bankrupt, Istvan Tarlos, the city's former mayor, told the daily Magyar Nemzet on Thursday.

Tarlos spoke to Magyar Nemzet in connection with last week’s reports that Budapest’s leadership had told the finance ministry in March that the capital would go bankrupt.

“I don’t know for certain how much truth there is to a direct threat of bankruptcy,” Tarlos told the paper. “It may or may not be true. The city administration isn’t keeping to the rules of mathematics when it comes to numbers, that much has been clear for a long time.”

He said Gergely Karacsony would not want to be known as the first mayor in Budapest’s 150-year history under whom the city goes bankrupt, either.

“For my part, I don’t wish bankruptcy on the city or Karacsony, but if it does happen, the city leadership would be far from blameless,” Tarlos said.

The former mayor said his administration had inherited a debt of 251 billion forints (EUR 665.8m) in 2010 but handed over the city with reserves of around 200 billion forints in 2019. It should also be noted that business tax revenues under Karacsony’s mayorship increased by 107 billion forints, he added.

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