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Budapest withdraws Olympic bid

February 24th, 2017

As the government announces that it is withdrawing the application for the 2024 Olympic Games, a pro-government commentator accuses the Left of betraying the nation as well as its own voters. Liberal analysts, on the other hand, rejoice over the announcement.

On Wednesday evening, the Hungarian government in agreement with the Hungarian Olympic Committee and István Tarlós Budapest Mayor announced that they would withdraw Hungary’s application to the 2024 Olympic Games. According to the government politicians, the Olympic bid had been submitted with a broad consensus of parties including the Socialists and Jobbik. Government politicians accuse the opposition parties of going against their own decision and lying to voters. They claim that in the absences of a broad consensus and because of the successful collection of votes for a  referendum (see BudaPost February 20), the Hungarian application has no chance in the competition. The opposition parties, on the other hand, said that the withdrawal of the bid is a victory for the public over the government.

Index’s Márton Kárpáti finds reason to rejoice that the Hungarian public forced the government to retreat. The liberal commentator thinks that the public’s revolt against the Olympic bid gives hope that Hungarians have not lost all their sanity, and they are not willing to support such a huge and costly project that could serve only the interest of pro-government entrepreneurs. 

In Magyar Idők, Miklós Novák finds it sad that Hungarians were again too timid to try to realize a great national dream. The pro-government columnist suspects that those who opposed the Olympic bid were motivated by political calculations, and accuses the opposition parties failing to follow the principles of democratic persuasion.

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