A Hungarian youth organization named Momentum Mozgalom has reportedly launched a campaign against Budapest’s bid for the 2024 Olympics. The organization hopes its NOlimpia campaign will receive the required backing to ask the question “Do you agree that the Municipality of Budapest should withdraw its bid from the organization of the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games?”
Last year Hungarian investigative journalist Katalin Erdélyi launched multiple attempts to get referendums against the bid approved at both the national and municipal level, but she ultimately failed when given only a short time to collect thousands of required signatures from citizens.
Momentum Mozgalom seeks a municipal vote and the capital’s election committee (FVB) has already approved the question that was submitted December 2. The organization expects to start collecting signatures soon, and will likely have only thirty days to acquire the 138,000 signatures required to confirm a referendum among the citizens of Budapest.
Opposition political forces are against a Budapest bid, claiming that the country’s economy is not ready for such an event.
Last year Balázs Fürjes, Chairman of Budapest 2024, downplayed attempts to organize referendums when he claimed that support exists for the Olympic project.
“It is of course the democratic right of every citizen of Budapest to seek a referendum on a matter of public policy in the city and we entirely respect that right,” he said.
“We strongly encourage public debate and are delighted by the support and encouragement that we continue to receive.
“This is a bid that enjoys strong and widespread support among ordinary Hungarians nationwide. Two-thirds of Hungarians would describe themselves as ‘proud’ or ‘very proud’ to see Budapest host the Games. There are clear indicators that this sentiment runs across the full cross-section of society, including urban and rural communities.”
Momentum Mozgalom has been contacted by GamesBids.com for comment.
Budapest is bidding against Los Angeles and Paris for the 2024 Games. The host city will be elected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on September 13 in Lima, Peru.