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Budapest under construction

March 30th, 2015

A left-wing columnist speculates that traffic jams in Budapest caused by simultaneous major reconstruction works show the downside of centralized decision making. A conservative pundit claims that major urban development is worth a couple of months of nuisance.

Budapest is falling apart,” Judith N. Kósa declares bluntly in Népszabadság. The left-wing commentator likens the traffic jams caused by large-scale reconstructions and extensions of major tram lines in central Budapest to “vicious experiments on human beings”. She believes that earlier fears about too much concentration of power in the hands of Budapest Mayor István Tarlós have proven true.  The current situation shows that the mayor simply does whatever he likes without any restraint from democratic checks and balances.

In Magyar Hírlap, Zsófia Jobbágyi writes that major reconstruction and urban development works imposes a temporary inconvenience on local people. The right-wing columnist recalls that under former liberal Mayor Gábor Demszky several important reconstruction projects were put off for twenty years. In just five years, the current Budapest management has completed more development work than the previous administration achieved in two decades, Jobbágyi maintains. She adds that Budapest under the Fidesz leadership has secured more EU funding than ever before. Once completed, the ongoing tram projects will significantly improve public transportation in Budapest, Jobbágyi contends.