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Budapest 2024 bid on after referendum rejected

by Matthew Campelli | 03 Dec 2015

Budapest’s bid for the 2024 Olympics has been given the green light after the city council rejected a referendum on its bid.

The referendum was proposed by Socialist council member, Csaba Horvath, who told local journalists that taxpayers – “those who foot the bill” – should decide its fate.

However, the bid was rejected by 16 votes to 14 (two abstentions), with officials claiming that the bid was set to go ahead.

The city will now compete against Los Angeles, Paris and Rome for the right to hold the Games. Hamburg pulled out earlier this week following a negative result in its own referendum.

Budapest mayor Istvan Tarlos said despite having the “utmost respect” for the referendum proposal, public bodies were elected to make decisions and the public could chose to vote against council members if they backfire.

According to an execution study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Budapest has set aside a Games budget of one trillion forints (US$3.4bn, €3.2bn, £2.3bn), with 300 billion forints being recouped by selling Olympic assets following the event.

A further two trillion forints (US$6.7bn, €6.4bn, £4.5bn) will be spent on infrastructure, making its total budget comparable to the US$4.7bn (£3.1bn, €4.5bn) budget for a Los Angeles Games, and the operating budgets of €6bn (US$6.3bn, £4.2bn) set aside by both Rome and Paris respectively.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is due to pick the 2024 host in Lima, Peru in 2017. The Hungarian capital is the only contender that has never hosted the Games previously.

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Budapest’s bid for the 2024 Olympics has been given the green light after the city council rejected a referendum on its bid. The referendum was proposed by Socialist council member, Csaba Horvath, who told local journalists that taxpayers – “those who foot the bill” – should decide its fate. However, the bid was rejected by 16 votes to 14 (two abstentions), with officials claiming that the bid was set to
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Budapest council members voted 16-14 against bid referendum / MOB/Szalmás Péter
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