During the state of emergency introduced in response to the new coronavirus epidemic, Mayor Gergely Karácsony will take over the tasks and competencies of the Budapest municipal assembly, the municipal website budapest.hu said. Karácsony has not convened the assembly for its regular March session, citing the state of emergency and a risk of infection to the councillors, the website said. To ensure transparency, Karácsony said he would consult with the party group leaders before making decisions on issues that would have been on the body’s agenda.
Zsolt Láng, group leader of ruling Fidesz in the municipal assembly, said that Karácsony has assumed tasks and competencies as required by law in an emergency situation, expressing hope that it would not serve “either political or PR purposes”. He said that upon Karácsony’s initiative they would be ready to consult with the mayor about planned measures. “In an emergency, such as the current pandemic, it is just natural that elected leaders and experts are given authority to operate the state and protection effectively. This is the attitude we would have expected from opposition politicians in parliament,” Láng said.
Meanwhile, Karácsony decided to allocate 1 billion forints (EUR 2.8m) to cover the cost of coronavirus-related emergency measures, the website said.