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Rejected renaming

Budapest residents are generally dissatisfied with the recent wave of renaming public locations, with the majority expressing disapproval of every such decision. A study conducted by Policy Solutions found that those happy with having a square named after Elvis Presley, Pope John Paul II and Albert Wass represent a minority to the people who liked things as they were. The renaming of Moszkva tér was the most strongly rejected, with 62% of respondents saying they do not like the square now bearing the name of Kálmán Széll.

When weighing the results based on the party preferences of the participants, the analyst think-tank found that even voters of the radical Jobbik were against the Moszkva tér renaming, with only 39% in favor. This is noteworthy because earlier, the rebranding was an item in the party’s election campaign. Respondents loyal to the governing Fidesz party were generally for the new names, while voters of the socialist MSzP and the green LMP were categorically opposed.

In contrast, Budapest residents are happy with the decision to ban the homeless from public locations. Some 72% of respondents approved of the move, making it the most popular among the measures enacted by mayor István Tarlós, who was elected last year. Banning smoking from hospitality locales as of 2012 likewise received strong support, with 60% in favor.

In contrast, the envisioned reduction of traffic in the city through introducing a congestion fee was widely rejected. The study found 59% strongly disapproved of having to pay for using their cars in the downtown area. The outcome is possibly an unpleasant surprise for LMP. Although the environmentalist party campaigned strongly for reducing traffic in central Budapest this way, the study found that 63% of its voters are also against the solution.