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Campaign against Hungary’s Olympic bid

January 26th, 2017

The Momentum Movement, a new youth organization has started to collect signatures to call a referendum to derail the Budapest 2024 Olympic bid. 35,000 were collected in the first 3 days, of 138,000 necessary. Commentators assess the political implications of the Olympic bid as well as the referendum initiative.

Magyar Idők’s Dávid Megyeri likens the initiative to a suicide mission. The pro-government pundit recalls that polls suggest that the majority of Hungarians support the Budapest Olympic bid, and even the MSZP and other minor left-wing parties voted in favour of the motion in the Budapest council, although they now they also want a referendum. Megyeri speculates that the Momentum Movement is a shadow organization of the former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány, who might use it to weaken the MSZP. Megyeri also ponders the possibility that Jobbik may be part of, or at least sympathize with the Momentum Movement project.

In Vasárnapi Hírek, Péter Pető welcomes the initiative to call a referendum. The left-wing columnist accuses the government of using the Olympic Games as just another tool to entrench its power and offer lucrative contracts to entrepreneurs allied to it.