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Pécs Joins “Modern Cities Scheme” As PM and Mayor Sign Cooperation Agreement

Tamás Székely 2015.04.29.

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán has visited the city of Pécs in South Hungary as part of the Modern Cities programme, within which he signed a cooperation agreement with Mayor Zsolt Páva. Since the locals had expressed great trust in the mayor, Zsolt Páva, of the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrats, in the latest local council elections, the government considers it “a matter of honour” to make Pécs a successful city, Viktor Orbán insisted. He pointed out that one of the most important means of achieving this had been the government’s assumption of the city’s debts. Viktor Orbán also recalled that Pécs had earlier reacquired public service companies (the water utility company and public transportation company), and this was also a necessary step in ensuring the city’s stable operation. The sides have also agreed that the M6 and M60 motorways will be built as far as the Hungarian-Croatian border.

At the joint press conference Mayor Zsolt Páva said that the document they had signed is the last stop in a long journey: in 2009 they had inherited poor infrastructure and a grim economic situation, but they have succeeded in setting the city on a path of development. The agreement provides a guarantee for continuing this development, he said. Furthermore, new areas may be created in the Pécs industrial zone, where new investors can find suitable infrastructure, Páva said. He added that a decision has been made on establishing a working group that will examine how the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter might operate, and how that operation might be financed in the future. Zsolt Páva announced that, in addition to the National Basketball Academy (which is currently under construction), a sports and leisure facility with an aqua park will also be established.

Under the arrangements of the Modern Cities scheme, the Hungarian government is signing similar deals with all 23 cities of county rank. Besides the Southern city of Pécs PM Viktor Orbán has visited Sopron, Eger, Zalaegerszeg and Miskolc so far. The Prime Minister emphasised at all events that the key to the development of rural Hungary lies in Hungary’s provincial towns and cities. “Without strong provincial towns and cities, there will be no strong villages, and we must therefore create provincial centres of influence”, he insisted.

via kormany.hu and MTI photo: Tamás Sóki – MTI


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