Stadiums over Education? Protestors in Budapest Demand More Funds for Schools and Unis
Júlia Tar 2019.04.01.
On Saturday, people gathered in front of the Hungarian Parliament to play football and prove that the act does not require newly built stadiums.
The protesters gathered at Kossuth Square claimed not to have anything against football or the support of sports. This is evidenced by the Facebook event’s caption: “Football is not only the passion of Hungarian politicians; it is ours too.” What they do disagree with, however, is the egregious amount of money allocated to football teams, sports centers and stadium construction. While stadiums “pop up like mushrooms,” education and research get left behind. According to a participant, a successful economy is not based on stadiums.
Photo via: Attila Kovács/MTI
The Hungarian government has been criticized in the past for disproportionately supporting football over healthcare and education.
According to Eurostat, in 2017, the government spent more on sports than on higher education or medical aids. One point two percent of the GDP (326 billion forints) was spent on sports alone, according to Hungarian TV channel RTL Klub’s news. This includes the 2017 World Aquatics Championships, which was the biggest and most expensive sporting event of the year. In 2010, the ratios were reversed. However, the support for sports has grown three times since then.
When asked about these ratios by RTL, Fidesz spokesman János Halász said that arguments like this should be discussed in the parliament and not at press conferences with journalists.