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Budapest citizens back Olympic referendum, survey says

The majority of Budapest citizens support a referendum to be held on the capital’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, rejecting the idea of organizing the event, according to a representative survey conducted by pollster Medián, commissioned by Hungarian online news portal hvg.hu.

Some 68% of the representative sample in Budapest said they do not support the capital organizing the Olympics because it would cost too much, while only 26% said it would be worth organizing the event no matter what it costs, according to the findings of the survey, hvg.hu reported.

Of those eligible to vote, 59% would demand the local government of Budapest withdraw the bid, while 60% support the idea of holding a referendum on the matter. Some 32% said there is no need for a referendum.

The telephone poll was conducted on January 28-29 on a representative sample of 600 Budapest residents.

Youth initiative Momentum Mozgalom has been collecting signatures to organize a Budapest-based referendum on the bid for the Olympics in 2024, in which Budapest is currently competing against Paris and Los Angeles.

The host of the 2024 Summer Olympics is set to be announced at the 130th International Olympic Committee Session in Lima, Peru, on September 13, 2017.

Opponents of holding the Olympic Games in Budapest say the event would cost too much, while the government says that organizing the event would boost the Hungarian economy and tourism sector.

According to the Medián survey, 9% have already signed to back a referendum on the matter, while 33% claimed to be planning to sign before the 30-day period for collecting signatures ends.

Momentum Mozgalom needs to collect 138,000 signatures in 30 days in order to make the Budapest-based referendum happen. By Sunday, in the first ten days of the signature collection since its launch on January 19, more than 70,000 signatures had been collected, according to reports.