Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony – Photo: Facebook

Karacsony: Government has promised to honour deal with Budapest on hosting Athletics world championships

The head of the Prime Minister's Office has confirmed in writing that the government will adhere to its agreement with the Budapest city council on the conditions for the capital hosting the 2023 World Athletics Championships, Gergely Karacsony, the city's mayor, said on Friday.

Talks on implementing the agreement between Budapest and the government concluded on Thursday night, Karacsony said in a post on Facebook.

The agreement signed in late 2019 is aimed at ensuring that the event “is not just the construction of a stadium and one-time sporting event”, but at contributing to Budapest’s development resulting in a healthier city, he said. As part of the deal, the government agreed to build a sports park in the city’s 9th district and provide 10 billion forints (EUR 26m) in support to district health-care facilities over a five-year period, which would also be used to finance the capital’s CT and MRI programme, he said.

“The implementation of the agreement was suspended in 2022,” Karacsony noted. “I had no choice but to withdraw my support for the event.”

The mayor said Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, had confirmed in writing on Thursday night on the prime minister’s behalf that the government would honour the agreement.

Contracts for projects that had been suspended will now be signed, and talks will begin on the distribution of the remaining funds to be allocated under the agreement, Karacsony said, expressing thanks to Gulyas and Balazs Furjes, co-chair of the event’s organising committee, for their efforts in the matter.

Meanwhile, Karacsony said, he had held talks with World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who had handed over an invitation to the World Athletics Championships set to start on Aug 19.

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