Photo: MTI

Palkovics invites Karacsony for talks on Budapest public transport

Minister of Innovation and Technology Laszlo Palkovics has invited Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony to hold coordination talks on Budapest public transport on Monday morning, the ministry said.

Palkovics said he would present to Karacsony a draft contract on annual support for Budapest public transport, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

“If the invitation is accepted, the sides can immediately sign the contract, which the government side considers final,” it said.

Public transport is primarily a local council task as stipulated by law, the ministry said. The central budget will help the metropolitan council fulfil its obligation by granting annual support of 12 billion forints (EUR 33m), it added.

Payment will be based on a contract to be signed by the ministry and the metropolitan council, the ministry said.

In addition to people living, working and studying in Budapest, the capital’s public transport system is also in use by a considerable part of travellers crossing the country and the majority of international tourists visiting Hungary, it added.

Karacsony said in response on Facebook that he would attend the meeting. At the same time, he said inviting someone for a Monday morning meeting on Sunday afternoon was “far from being elegant, especially considering that it has been trumpeted all over the press”.

He said the question remained “why the united opposition had to protest, submit repeated demands and demonstrate power” in order to get the legally stipulated support for Budapest public transport. He added that it was a “rather modest sum” which represented only 7 percent of the total budget.

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