Budapest mayor István Tarlós has questioned a decision by Gergely Karácsony, mayor of the 14th district of the capital, and the local authority to take it upon themselves to investigate the legality of a controversial parking contract they had previously entered into. Tarlós said in a statement that Zugló 14th district council had promptly terminated the contract with the parking companies involved and had appointed a fact-finding team to review the parking system in the municipality. Commenting on Karácsony’s move to broaden the investigation to the rest of the capital’s districts, Tarlós said: “This does not add up.”
Karácsony, who is also the opposition Socialist-Párbeszéd alliance’s candidate to replace Tarlós at the autumn local elections, said in a television interview that he knew the parking contracts had been “the result of a dirty bargain”, Tarlós said. “[Karácsony] also admitted the district parking system was unprofitable but he said the district authority had forced him to sign the contracts nevertheless,” he said. “If this is the case, then why on earth would he investigate those who concluded the contract?” Tarlós insisted Zugló wanted its committee to probe the capital itself as well as its districts, saying this was “interesting” as the capital had not entered into a single parking contract: parking contracts were the business of the districts. The Budapest mayor also insisted that Karácsony had later stated that he thought Zugló’s parking business was indeed profitable. “If this were so, then why would he have to terminate the contracts with immediate effect?” Tarlós said.