The Budapest metropolitan assembly on Wednesday approved a proposal declaring that the city will not host the 2023 World Athletics Championships if the government approves the construction of a campus for China’s Fudan University in place of the Student City in the capital’s 9th district.
The proposal, adopted with 18 votes in favour and 13 against, also requires the government to ensure the continuation of the Healthy Budapest scheme.
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, who submitted the motion, said that the municipal council had approved the city staging the World Athletics Championships in an earlier agreement with the government. That deal also covered developments like the continuation of the Healthy Budapest Programme and the construction of the students’ quarter in the 9th district, he said. Karácsony insisted, however, that the government had violated that agreement by passing the law on the establishment of a foundation to run Fudan University’s local campus.
The mayor said all the municipal council could do in this case was “make it as clear as possible” that Budapest would honour the agreement with the government, adding that scrapping the plans to build the students’ quarter would “trigger an irreversible process”.
Featured illustration photo by MTI/EPA/Franck Robichon