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State Secy: Budapest’s Developments Require Govt-Local Cooperation

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.03.06.

Developments in Budapest can proceed if the national government and city administration find a way to cooperate, Balázs Fürjes, the state secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of developments in Budapest and its agglomeration, said on Saturday, commenting on Mayor Gergely Karácsony’s urban development plans.

In a statement, Fürjes welcomed Karácsony’s coming round to agreeing with the government on several issues, choosing “cooperation instead of warfare”. The government, he added, was open to dialogue.

The mayor, he noted, had accepted the government’s proposal to hold the next meeting of the Metropolitan Public Development Council on March 18 and to discuss the use of EU funds in Budapest.

Implicit in Karácsony’s willingness to discuss development plans was his acknowledgement that Budapest’s budget was solid, he said.

Karácsony: Local Governance under Threat in Hungary
Karácsony: Local Governance under Threat in Hungary

Local governance and the relationship between the central government and local councils constitutes the “frontline of Hungarian domestic politics” today, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony told an online conference on Thursday. Local governance is important to all democrats, the mayor said, adding, however that it was now under threat in Hungary. “Democracy is being systematically wound […]Continue reading

He added that the mayor had abandoned his previous position and no longer insisted on “tax hikes, austerity or indebtedness”.

Fürjes said the government had succeeded in preventing this stance and had thereby protected Budapest’s employees and businesses from “the town hall’s bad economic policies”.

It was welcome, he added, that Karácsony now agreed that investments and developments were needed in Budapest to protect jobs, businesses and families.

The state secretary highlighted three key areas of development: housing, transport and greening.

Fürjes said that 3,000 billion forints (EUR 8.3bn) of European Union development funding would be spent on Budapest developments, focusing on transport, renewing the capital’s vehicle fleet and increasing the quality of green areas.

Featured photo by Attila Kovács/MTI