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Budapest, govʼt agree on conditions for hosting IAAF worlds

Central government and municipal council leaders reached an agreement on the conditions for hosting the 2023 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in Budapest at a meeting of the Capitalʼs Public Developments Council (FTK), state news wire MTI reports.

Minister of the Prime Ministerʼs Office Gergely Gulyás (left) with Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony. (Photo: MTI/Noémi Bruzák)

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said the kind of investment that would be made to host the athletics worlds enjoyed the support of the majority, adding that the facilities would be open for the use of all sport-loving people after the event.

The Budapest municipal council voted in November to back hosting the IAAF worlds only on a number of conditions, including opening the state-funded venue to the public and topping up the healthcare allocation for the capital.

Karácsony said on Thursday that city and central government leaders would decide together, in the framework of the FTK, on how to spend HUF 50 billion allocated for out-patient care developments in the capital in the coming five years.

The mayor said he did not believe city and central government leaders had moved any closer on their views regarding the plans for a state-funded museums quarter in Budapestʼs Városliget (City Park). The municipal council remains opposed to the construction of new buildings in the area, and it canʼt and doesnʼt wish to change this position, he added.

Karácsony said the renovation of the capitalʼs landmark Chain Bridge could be postponed no further, even if the reconstruction of the tunnel under the Castle District had to be excluded from the project. The central government is open to this idea, he added.

A tender was earlier called for the renovation of the bridge and the tunnel, but Karácsonyʼs predecessor, István Tarlós, balked at the prices contractors wanted for the project.

Gergely Gulyás, who heads the Prime Ministerʼs Office, said central government and city leaders had agreed on some issues at the FTK meeting and moved closer on others, but he acknowledged there remain matters of dispute.