Weekly newsletter

Gov’t Commissioner Blames Zoo Director for Risk of Biodome Incompletion

Ábrahám Vass 2020.01.15.

The government will not allocate more funds for the biodome to be completed, Minister of State for the development of Budapest and the metropolitan agglomeration Balázs Fürjes told Inforádió. An additional HUF 20 billion (EUR 60 million) is needed for the completion.

According to Fürjes, the government initially welcomed the idea and even provided additional resources, but then Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden director Miklós Persányi, who is also a former minister of leftist-liberal governments and PM Viktor Orbán’s commissioner of the debated Liget Project, has “put the government and the country as a whole in a very difficult situation.”

According to the state secretary, after the first price increase, Persányi promised the government that there wouldn’t be any more hikes. Fürjes also confirmed that the government has thus far allocated HUF 45 billion (EUR 135 million) for the project in which they had no say, as it had exclusively been overseen by the Zoo’s leadership.

He added that at this point the government cannot do any more, other than wait for the invitation to the opening ceremony because “everything is now at the hands of the zoo’s management.” In addition, he also argued that in case the government would give in and allocate more money, it would set a precedent for all local governments and everyone else to ask always for more.

What’s Next for the Liget Project?

Budapest Zoo is earmarked for significant expansion within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project. According to the plans, Pannon Park will attempt to conjure up the flora and fauna that once existed in the Carpathian Basin. The central complex of Pannon Park will be the aforementioned bio-dome, a huge glasshouse which can already be spotted from many places in the city.

featured image via MTI/Zoltán Balogh