The extensive construction of stadiums is equal to theft, Gergely Karácsony told a local election campaign event. Instead, taxpayers’ money should be spent on health care, he said. Hundreds of billions of forints have been funnelled into sport construction projects in Budapest recently, the left-wing opposition parties’ mayoral candidate told a press conference. “And there is no end to it,” he said, referring to construction of an athletics hall in Csepel, as well as similar projects in other districts of the capital. Speaking in front of the Groupama football stadium, Karácsony added that the incumbent mayor, István Tarlós, felt more beholden to the interests of the central government that was intent of “building stadiums everywhere” than to those of Budapest residents. The opposition has started a petition to stop stadium construction and “other reckless investments”, and turn the money towards improving health care.
Meanwhile, asked about documents with photographic evidence obtained by the daily Magyar Nemzet indicating the alleged preparation of election fraud by the opposition in the Józsefváros district of Budapest, Karácsony strongly rejected the charge, saying that if anyone were to commit an illegal act, it was unlikely they would post incriminating photographs on Facebook. The question concerned voter data which, it is alleged, was collected illegally. Karácsony said the citizens concerned had given their consent to handing over their data in accordance with the law. He added that the photo in question showed how all recommendation slips had been returned to the authorities.