Photo: MTI

LMP calls on Budapest district mayor to initiate plebiscite on planned chemicals depot

Opposition LMP has called on the mayor of Budapest's southern 23rd district to initiate a local referendum on whether a base to store chemical substances needed for European battery production should be set up in the area.

The Budapest municipal assembly on Wednesday decided to support the mayor’s proposal on submitting an amendment aimed at preventing a government plan to set up a base to store hazardous chemicals in the Soroksar district.

LMP co-leader Erzsebet Schmuck told a press conference on Thursday that her party supported the assembly’s decision to prevent the plan to set up the chemicals storage base by declaring the affected areas of Soroksar a protective forest.

Schmuck added at the same time that it could not be ruled out that the government would declare the project a priority investment, noting that the public had only learned of the planned base from the media.

The base in question would be used to supply chemical substances not just to the battery plants in Hungary but all Chinese battery plants across Europe, she said, calling the plan “unacceptable”.

Schmuck said Chinese investors were only choosing Hungary because of its low taxes and because “environmental protection norms aren’t enforced”. She insisted that the government was pursuing this policy at the expense of supporting education and health care, adding that it was a threat to public health and the environment.

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