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Karácsony: Gov’t has given up on Fudan project

picture of Gergely Karácsony

The Budapest City Council will not veto the 2023 World Athletics Championships over the issue of setting up a campus of China’s Fudan University in the capital city, Mayor Gergely Karácsony told news program Egyenes Beszéd on Monday evening.

Karácsony said that they had set two conditions to avoid a veto of the major sports event: the city must receive health care subsidies, and the location set aside for the Student City project must not be given to the foundation intending to operate Fudan University in the future.

While the health care subsidies were delayed, they still arrived in the government’s coffers. As for the Fudan project, there is no progress being made on it, Mayor Karácsony stated.

I know for a fact that the government actually let go of this ‘Fudan story’ a long time ago. They let it go because the Chinese let it go, because it’s not worth it to them.

-claimed the mayor.

The capital still needs the Student City project, however, because there are critically few dormitory places in Budapest, according to the mayor. “It’s very hard for rural students who can’t study here because they can’t pay their rent. And it’s very bad for Budapest because the lack of dormitory places is pushing up apartment prices.”

Gergely Karácsony also talked about the money owed to the City of Budapest by the Hungarian government to keep public transportation running. After an agreement signed yesterday between the mayor and László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, the state treasury is expected to provide the normative amount of 12 billion Ft. (US $36.8 million) this year to keep the Budapest Transportation Company financially stable.

“I am constantly attacked by the Fidesz members of the City Council for constantly looking for trouble, being provocative, and not sitting at the negotiating table,” stated the Mayor of Budapest.

“But if we do not set ourselves on fire, in the figurative sense of the word, and do not cause a ruckus, pound on the table, demonstrate, and go to the Carmelite Monastery and threaten them, then this money would not come at all.”

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