Photo: MTI

Mayor: Budapest ‘not a soulless city’

Budapest is "not a soulless city", as it was founded on and is kept going by solidarity, Mayor Gergely Karacsony said on Tuesday at the launch of the Santa Claus trolley bus in City Hall park.

Speaking about the Hungarian Baptist Aid’s “shoebox” initiative aimed at collecting boxfuls of Christmas presents for poor children, Karacsony said the charity drive was “the most beautiful way to express this solidarity”.

Hungarian Baptist Aid head David Gal said the initiative aimed to set a new record by collecting at least 70,000 boxes.

In the 20th year of the scheme, the organisers expect home-made gifts to arrive by Dec 18, Gal said, adding that people could also put together shoeboxes online at

Karacsony urged the public to “break the record of love” in collecting presents for the needy.

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