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Tibor Navracsics, the regional development minister, highlighted the cultural and regional aspects of the Veszprém-Balaton European Capital of Culture 2023 season in Veszprém, in western Hungary, on Saturday. Navracsics told a press conference that the programme aimed to demonstrate the “economic strength of culture” and that the creative industry, culture and the utilisation of cultural heritage could serve as the basis for an economic model. “And this not only generates profit for a region, but can also promote economic growth,” the minister added.
Gyula Porga, Veszprem’s mayor, said the city’s European Capital of Culture (EKF) programme had been put together with the cooperation of 116 local councils. He noted the infrastructure developments that went into the programme, highlighting the importance of sustainability in their implementation. Porga said Veszprém aimed to be one of Europe’s 20 most liveable cities by 2030.
Alíz Markovits, managing director of Veszprém-Balaton 2023 Zrt, the company responsible for the programme, said the European Capital of Culture 2023 season will offer some 3,000 events over the course of the year. In response to a question, she said the EKF programme had a total budget of 74 billion forints (EUR 187.6m), 72 billion of which was covered by the government. A total of 1.5 billion forints comes from the Melina Mercouri Prize awarded to the project by the European Union, with the remainder being covered by local councils, she added.