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Their first aim is to prevent the government from holding Olympic Games in Budapest

According to the online news site index.hu the Momentum Movement (MM) has started to collect signatures on Thursday to inhibit the Hungarian government from applying for the right to organize 2024 Olympic Games in Budapest.

The campaign had a strong start on Thursday as it managed to collect over 10,000 signatures in support of holding the referendum. The youth political movement posted activists at 25 signature collection points across the capital, and must collect 138,000 signatures in the next 30 days to force a referendum.

The movement, which consists of young people, went public recently and they aim to achieve political change in Hungary. They are opponents of PM Viktor Orbán's regime and they are thinking about transforming themselves into a political party. The movement appeared out of nothing in the past few days. They created a campaign called NOlimpia to make it clear they don't support the Hungarian government's application for the right to organize 2024 Olympic Games in Budapest. They want to make the application impossible and they want to go public with the criticism of Orbán's entire political regime. The movement was founded in 2015 and they formed an association in 2016. The movement handed in a popular vote initiative against holding Olympic Games in Budapest. Head of the movement Mr. András Fekete-Győr said to index.hu that the Budapest Election Committee and the supreme court validated their question so they can start collecting signatures on Thursday.

Both the Socialist Party and Green LMP back the NGO's initiative to collect signatures demanding Hungary drop its bid to host the Olympic Games in Budapest in 2024. Socialist leader Gyula Molnár told a press conference on Thursday that Hungary was not ready to host the event. There are more questions than answers concerning the Olympic bid, he said. The Socialists will launch their own campaign and they want a national plebiscite on the subject. "The government should allow arguments for as well as those against to be presented," Molnár said. Csaba Horváth, the Socialist Party's representative in the Budapest council, said that the Olympics would cost every family 2 million forints (EUR 6,500), which "the government will collect in taxes". Voters should be informed about "both sides" of the argument in order to make a responsible decision, he said.
LMP's municipal representative Antal Csárdi said his party would set up stands at over 20 locations in Budapest to collect signatures in support of the initiative to drop the bid. Hosting the Olympics will cost an estimated 3,000 billion forints (EUR 9.7 billion) for which 40 large hospitals could be built. Alternatively, new metro lines could be built, he said. "A city where the renovation of a metro line and the regular operation of hospitals are hindered by financial difficulties must not host the Olympics," Csárdi said. Securing a decent standard of living for a generation could be compromised for "two weeks of pride", he warned. "Let's organise a decent weekday first, then we can consider the Olympics," he said, adding that health, education, and housing were more important priorities.

Együtt (Together) party chairman Viktor Szigetvári said at a Thursday press conference that his party also supports the initiative and had begun collecting signatures. Budapest has no need for the Olympics, he said, echoing Momentum Movement's position that the country should rather spend the money on education and the health system.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 January 2017 13:45

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