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Deputy mayor: capital operating from overdraft

The Budapest City Council currently has "minus 1.1 billion forints [EUR 2.9m]" on its account, which means the capital is operating from an overdraft, deputy mayor Ambrus Kiss said at a press conference on Thursday.

Describing Budapest’s financial plight, Kiss said the capital’s situation “is not rosy at all and has not been resolved”. Data for the first half of the year show the “survival programme” is working, but this does not mean that they have recovered from the financial difficulties that were not caused by the municipality, he added.

The deputy mayor said they had a “surprise” on July 4 when the Hungarian Treasury collected 3.9 billion from the capital’s account, in connection with the city’s solidarity contribution to government coffers. The municipality earlier initiated an administrative lawsuit and requested immediate legal protection against paying the contribution, he said.

Commenting on the statement, ruling Fidesz said that “despite growing revenues, Gergely Karacsony and the leftist parties have pushed the country’s richest municipality into bankruptcy.”

The statement said that Karacsony had assumed office with reserves of 200 billion forints, adding that budgetary support and revenues had “never been higher”. “This goes to show that Budapest is being put at risk by irresponsible and wasteful policies, and by [Democratic Coalition leader Ferenc] Gyurcsany’s people getting into key positions,” Fidesz said.

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