Budapest mayor Gergely Karacsony

Karacsony: Budapest municipality to launch information campaign

The municipal government of Budapest is launching an information campaign with a view to providing a picture of the situation in the capital, Gergely Karacsony, the city's mayor, told an online press conference.

Karacsony said the idea was to strengthen Budapest’s community and persuade the central government to scrap its curbs on the local administration.

Information will be made available concerning the operation of public services and the city’s finances, as well as its public services.

The campaign is also geared towards making the public aware of Budapest’s strength in fighting “government measures”. “We can join forces to make the government lift the austerity measures” imposed on localities, he added.

The mayor said the city’s community would be “greatly needed in the following period”.

Karacsony noted the coronavirus epidemic and associated economic crisis, as well as “government austerity measures affecting local governments”, as factors to contend with.

Ruling Fidesz said in response that the mayor “is still complaining and promoting a smear campaign against the government”.

“Karacsony was right about the country going through a crisis,” the statement said. Under such circumstances, however, the municipality should be frugal about spending taxpayers’ money, it said. Delays and “incompetence” in planning the reconstruction of Budapest’s Chain Bridge and Metro 3 line, and the commercial tender of its public transport company, cost the city billions of forints last year, the statement said.

The government is allocating 116 billion forints (EUR 321.5m) to the city’s operating costs in 2021, and tens of billions to development support, the statement added.

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