Budapest has now joined Rome in vetoing any possible referendum to support the 2024 Olympic Games. Budapest’s city council Wednesday voted 16 to 14, with 2 abstentions, to block a proposal by opposition parties to allow the taxpayers the opportunity to reject the bid.
Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarios called the notion “political demagoguery” and said Wednesday it was unclear whether Budapest residents had adequate information about the Olympics two years before the host city is chosen.
Critics of the bid have cited the likelihood of cost overruns and the stress to be put on the city’s infrastructure as reasons for concern.
Nezopont Intezet, a pro-government research institute, reports support among Hungarians to host the Games has risen from 40 per cent in August 2014 to 53 per cent.
According to an execution study by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Budapest plans a Games budget of one trillion forints ($3.41 billion) of which 300 billion would be recouped by selling Olympic assets once the Games are over.
Another two trillion forints would have to be spent on infrastructure said PwC, adding that more than half of the total investment would be necessary regardless of the Olympics.
Budapest, along with Rome, Paris and Los Angeles remain in contention to host the 2024 Games after Hamburg was forced to withdraw after losing a referendum last week. No referendums are scheduled for Paris or Los Angeles.
Last year Krakow in Poland lost a referendum around a bid for the 2022 Winter Games and in 2013 a Munich vote derailed a campaign to host those same Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will elect the host city September 2017 in Lima, Peru.