The mayor of Budapest has criticised the government, saying that the capital city that would need the most support for reviving its ailing tourism sector, has no access to the Kisfaludy tourism development fund. According to the Hungarian Tourism Agency, Budapest has received no funding because its tourism sector was believed “to recover” most rapidly, Gergely Karácsony said on Facebook. But the assumption was wrong, he said, arguing that Budapest is “the engine” of Hungary’s tourism, with its residents preferring to spend their holidays in the countryside, and fewer visitors coming to Budapest from there.
Meanwhile, the head of the Budapest Chamber of Industry and Trade (BKIK) has invited Karácsony and Finance Minister Mihály Varga for talks about possible financial aid to businesses hit by the pandemic, daily Magyar Nemzet said. “Budapest would need 40 billion forints (EUR 111m) to support ailing businesses in the tourism sector which will have to soon dismiss several tens of thousands of their employees. We must take action without delay,” Elek Nagy said.
In response, ruling Fidesz said that the left-wing governments and city leaderships always considered tax increases as the only possible measure to tackle an economic crisis rather than easing the burden on economic players. “We, however, are in favour of tax cuts,” the party said in a statement. It said that the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic “had surprised only Gergely Karácsony”, adding that a serious recession in the tourism sector was already to be foreseen in the spring.