Cooperation between city leaders, central government in residents’ interest: state secretary

The state secretary in charge of the development of Budapest and its agglomeration said it was in the interest of the capital's residents that the city's leaders and the government should be working together.

Balazs Furjes said in an interview published in the online edition of daily Magyar Nemzet that he proposed continued dialogue and holding the next meeting of the municipal public development council in early October the latest.

He said transport was the most burning topic for discussion. “It would also be good to receive information from the municipal council … regarding uncertainties surrounding Chain Bridge and the third metro line.”

“The government will be happy to give a briefing on developments concerning the HEV suburban railways and the role of railway transport in the capital’s transport system,” he added.

Furjes said he hoped the issue of new cycle lanes in Budapest could also be addressed, adding that “the persecution of drivers” should be stopped.

He said Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony had unexpectedly cancelled a meeting of the council in June, a day before it was supposed to take place, without proposing a new date.

Furjes also said dialogue between the city leaders and members of the public was scant, despite Karacsony’s campaign promise to seek Budapest residents’ opinions before making important decisions.

“It’s important for City Hall to understand that it’s not the job of politicians to decide for the people what’s good for them … and to force them change their way of life,” Furjes said.

Commenting on the fact that many see Karacsony primarily as an opposition leader, Furjes said: “It’s important that the work of the city leader should not be driven by the wish for revenge or a hunger for power”.

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