Gergely Karácsony
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony – Photo: MTI / Zsolt Szigetváry

Karacsony: Budapest residents should get to decide on city’s future

Decisions on the future of Budapest should be left up to its residents "and not the government's confidants", Gergely Karacsony, the city's mayor, said on Tuesday, criticising the government over its failure to invite a single local council official into a rust belt committee to be set up soon.

Karacsony noted on Facebook an announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office last weekend on the establishment of a rust belt committee, a body that will weigh proposals to designate abandoned industrial areas as “rust belt zones”. The committee’s members will include an official from the PM’s Office, a deputy state secretary from the agriculture ministry and the managing director of EMI Epitesugyi Minosegellenorzo Innovacios Nonprofit, a state-owned company that provides certification for the construction industry, he noted.

“They haven’t invited a single local council official and we had to find out through the press that they once again plan to decide on investments to be carried out in the city without involving Budapest’s residents,” Karacsony said.

The mayor said the city’s residents had already expressed their opinion “on this kind of policy” in the past when they elected him in 2019.

Both that election and the city development strategy signed last weekend had clearly indicated “that we believe in open city governance”, he said. “This means we have to seek the opinions of Budapesters on our investments, since it is their lives our decisions will impact.”

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