Opinion: Hungarian Weeklies on Budapest Facing Bankruptcy

  • 24 Apr 2023 7:34 AM
  • BudaPost
Opinion: Hungarian Weeklies on Budapest Facing Bankruptcy
As Budapest announces austerity measures, opinions diverge on whom to blame for the financial troubles of the capital.

In Magyar Nemzet, Ottó Gajdics describes Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony as a pathetic figure who is trying to explain away his dismal performance by blaming the government for the huge deficit the capital has accumulated.

He believes the Mayor is following DK Leader Ferenc Gyurcsány’s copybook by withholding a third of the recently introduced ‘solidarity tax’ imposed on big cities to help the poorer settlements. Mr Gyurcsány recently scolded him for not being in the forefront of the fight against the government, and as the DK leader is the real puppet master on the opposition side, Gajdics alleges, the Mayor decided to obey. But where are the 214 billion Forints István Tarlós, the former right-wing Mayor, left on the capital’s account in 2019? Gajdics asks.

In an interview with InfoRadio, Karácsony explained that his goal is not to exceed the Capital’s borrowing limit of 25 billion Forints, beyond which bankruptcy would be inevitable. He vows to pay employees’ salaries and keep basic services working but postpones several projects until the autumn when local business tax revenues flow in.

He took over from his predecessor in the Autumn of 2019, he added, this is why he ‘inherited’ over 200 million Forints on the city’s bank account. The government has withdrawn more money from Budapest over the past two years than the total transfers it has made to the capital, he maintains. Therefore, he finds it reasonable to withhold the difference – 25 billion forints of solidarity tax, as he refuses to ‘finance the government’.

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Karácsony: Gov't Strips Budapest of HUF 227 Billion

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