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Budapest Mayor Slams Opposition Candidates for ‘Impossible’ Pledges

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.06.24.

The candidates of the opposition parties for the mayor of Budapest have made campaign pledges that are “impossible to meet”, István Tarlós, the incumbent mayor, told public broadcaster M1 on Monday.

Tarlós insisted that Olga Kálmán, an independent candidate supported by the leftist Democratic Coalition, for example, has set out goals which would cost around 2,000 billion forints (EUR 62bn), and added that those funds “do not exist” in the city’s budget. He said that if the pledges of Kálmán and Socialist (MSZP)-Párbeszéd’s Gergely Karácsony were “added up” Budapest could “shut down” financially.

Tarlós warned that levying a tax on uninhabited properties or on ones worth over 500 million forints as proposed by Karácsony would be illegal. Kálmán’s proposal of making public transportation free of charge for juveniles or making it mandatory for district councils to build an annual 100 housing units would also violate laws, Tarlós said.

Budapest Mayor Tarlós: ‘Opposition Has No Charismatic Candidate to Challange Me’

Concerning the opposition’s preselection of mayoral candidates Tarlós said it was no more than “propaganda and marketing”, a procedure which has “no legal consequences” and in which there is “no real debate” between the contenders.