Costs of Prime Minister’s Office relocation soar

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Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán ordered Economy Minister Mihály Varga to allocate HUF 8.2 bln from the already approved 2016 budget and HUF 5.7 bln from the 2017 budget for the renovation of a Carmelite church and monastery in Budapest’s Castle District, where the prime minister’s office will be moving, online news portal napi.hu reported, citing a decree published in the government’s official gazette Magyar Közlöny on Thursday.

According to reports from last year, the government was expected to spend HUF 1.4 bln on moving the office into the church, and would assign HUF 756.2 million from the exceptional provisions reserve fund to finance public tenders for the reconstruction. It was also reported last year that Cabinet Chief János Lázár, the minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, would allocate HUF 704.3 million from the 2015-16 budget for the reconstruction of the landmark building, the first installment of HUF 585.4 million to be disbursed in 2015 and the second installment of HUF 118.9 million in 2016.

By 2015 the Hungarian government had already allocated HUF 6.8 bln to spend on government office-related refurbishments in the Castle District. Another decree also published on Thursday states that the government will spend HUF 2.3 bln on preparations for the reconstruction work in 2016 and HUF 2.6 bln in 2017, napi.hu reported.

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