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Mayor plans to centralize Budapest public services

Budapest mayor István Tarlás has plans to centralize Budapest's public services, minimizing the responsibilities of the 23 districts, he said in an interview with daily Magyar Hírlap.

Budapest needs unified city development, asset management and parking rules, Tarlós told the paper.

“We cannot have twenty-four different solutions for these things,” he said.

“A unified Budapest calls for duties to be drawn into central management; for example roads should be owned by the municipal administration,” he added.

Tarlós said only those obligations should remain in the competence of districts which can only be carried out locally.

Tarlós conceded that Budapest will have to cut spending given its current debt burden of around HUF 300 billion and an expected further HUF 160 billion in the years to come.

“We must keep the city's books in balance, and this could be painful in some areas,” he told the paper.