Budapest mayor Gergely Karacsony

Jobbik: Government should support Hungarian youth instead of Chinese university

Karacsony: City council against plan to replace student housing project with Chinese uni campus

The Budapest city council opposes plans to build a "Chinese elite university campus" in place of a students' quarter in the capital's 9th district, Gergely Karacsony, the city's mayor, said on Facebook on Thursday.

Karacsony reacted to remarks by the prime minister’s chief of staff criticising the city’s leadership for suggesting that setting up a campus for China’s Fudan University was in conflict with plans to build the students’ quarter.

Gergely Gulyas told a government press briefing that one of the “elite universities of the world” locating a branch in Hungary would “give meaning” to the student quarter scheme.

“If the government still decides to go back on the existing agreement on this project, and it becomes clear once again that the prime minister’s spoken word isn’t worth a dime, then that will also affect the construction of the stadium that is important to the government,” Karacsony said.

The mayor slammed the government position that “building an elite university campus serving the principles and influence of the Chinese Communist Party” in the place of the planned students’ quarter “would make housing cheaper for Hungarian students”.

“Providing cheap housing for Hungarian students is far more important than providing subservient assistance to China’s quest for influence using taxpayer money,” Karacsony said.

Jobbik: Government should support Hungarian youth instead of Chinese university

The opposition Jobbik party has called on the government to support the housing of Hungarian youth rather than establishing a Chinese campus in Budapest.

Deputy party leader Daniel Karpat Z called it “outrageous” that the government would spend 540 billion forints (EUR 1.5bn) on the project from taxpayer money and loans, and scrap the plan to build a student city with sporting and recreation facilities for the accommodation of 8,500 Hungarian young people on the land in question.

Karpat Z insisted that the government should immediately revise the project. Jobbik, he said, would only welcome foreign universities here if they served the interests of the Hungarian economy and its youth.

Referring to his party’s preferential housing rental and home-creation shadow policy, he said that all Hungarian young people should be able to prosper in their homeland.

The past ten years of Fidesz rule, he said, had witnessed a “brutal emigration spiral”, with the cream of Hungarian youth forced to find their future abroad. He called the government’s policy of using “Chinese mega loans to pave the way for Chinese investment projects” a “betrayal of young Hungarians”.

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