Budapest Council Approves Budget As Mayor Eyes Debt Consolidation
Tamás Székely 2015.02.26.
The municipal council of Budapest has approved the city’s budget for 2015 with 20 votes for, nine against and one abstention. The spending side of this year’s budget amounts to 323.9 billion forints (1.06bn euros) as opposed to revenues totalling 244.9 billion forints. According to the budget, the deficit of nearly 80 billion forints will be financed from leftover funds from previous years (4.6bn), loans (12.1bn), domestic bonds (24bn) and deposit withdrawals (38.4bn). Mayor István Tarlós welcomed the new budget and said the plan was viable.
“Even in difficult circumstances we managed to adopt a budget decree in time,” he said. Tarlós also announced that the government had agreed to take over the debt amassed by Budapest public transport company BKV. BKV’s debt due this year reaches HUF 52.3bn, a document submitted to a city council meeting showed. The government has made a clear promise to consolidate debt, Tarlós said, adding that the debt consolidation could happen within a few weeks. The city council is conducting promising talks with the government, he said when asked about the HUF 15bn gap in the budget for the city’s public transport.
Last week István Tarlós announced that Budapest would receive HUF 300-400 billion, or up to EUR 1.3 billion, of European Union funding over the next seven years. In a lecture given at Corvinus University of Budapest, he said that with the help of EU support Budapest would be able to refurbish the third metro line’s infrastructure and finish the extension of tram line 1.