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“Let 2023 be a year dedicated to restart”, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said in a New Year’s message on Sunday. Karácsony said on Facebook that wishing peace for the new year bore a special significance, with millions suffering in Hungary’s neighbourhood from a war caused by “the aggression of a Russian tyrant”. It is high time that “we should not accept things as normal just because we got used to them”, he said. “Let us use the fact that global capitalism is teetering under the weight of the war and the energy and climate crises, and that all responsible leaders and citizens are asking themselves: what had gone wrong and how can we find other ways forward,” he said.
Budapest will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2023. Early in the year, the revamped 3rd metro line will be opened to the public, and 150 new buses and 40 new trolley buses will be put in service, more community bike stations will be built and some 20,000 trees will be planted later on, he said. He added that public transport on Chain Bridge has been restarted following its revamp and a decision on the future use of the bridge will be made in line with “the wish of the public”. Karácsony said the strategic plan remains to make public services in Budapest energy neutral by the end of the decade. Inflation is “cautioning to prudence” but the municipality will stick to solidarity, opening institutions such as libraries that can help people suffering from the energy crisis, he said.