General Assembly of Budapest: temporary social care facilities will probably cost HUF 400 million

Tarlós István, Budapest főpolgármestere a Fővárosi Közgyűlés ülésén 2015. szeptember 02-án a Városháza dísztermében

​The General Assembly has adopted the proposal with information on the measures introduced with regard to the establishment of temporary, social care facilities.

According to the proposal submitted by Mayor István Tarlós, Máté Kocsis, Councillor for municipal affairs and law enforcement and Committee Chairman Zsolt Láng, the costs of establishing and operating temporary, social care facilities in Budapest paid by the capital’s public service companies have reached more than HUF 29 million until mid-August. The Municipal Public Space Maintenance Company of Budapest (Fővárosi Közterület-fenntartó Zrt.) had the highest expense, reaching more than HUF 12 million. “Considering that the municipal institutions and public service providers are not in the possession of eligible budgetary sources to perform tasks related to these care facilities, it can be financed from the budget of Budapest Municipality”, the proposal states. According to preliminary estimates, the expected gross monthly expenditures will hit HUF 77 million. 

The General Assembly of Budapest has requested the mayor to examine the possible measures and financial conditions occurring due to the establishment and operation of temporary social care facilities as well as the additional extra tasks arising from the migration situation significantly affecting the capital. The Mayor has also been requested to submit a proposal, for the next meeting of the General Assembly, on all the necessary decisions required due to the extra tasks of municipal institutions and public service providers.

At the end of the proposal’s debate Mayor István Tarlós has declared that in its perspective it is a dangerous phenomenon, and he considers it “extremely sad” that in such a situation no national minimum has taken shape, moreover certain groups and people wish to use the issue to turn it into daily political benefits. He emphasized that a lifelike reaction is required. He added that it is not a Hungary-specific problem, the regulations of the European Union are however obstructing the Hungarian government to take efficient measures. The Mayor said that for several months the EU has been helpless as regards migration affairs, and “it makes different statements every two days, it is not even sure of what it wishes to concede”.

István Tarlós emphasized that the Municipality of Budapest has no obligations and duties imposed by law in terms of migration affairs. “As being a matter of conscience, we are trying to deal with migration, primarily to protect the residents of Budapest and ease the pressure on our city”, he said. Tarlós stressed that there is no mention of a permanent refugee camp, but they establish temporary social facilities: “we are trying to persuade the migrants to stay in these blocks and do not swarm into the city. We want to protect Budapest from the uncontrollable flood of people”, the Mayor of Budapest emphasized. “Besides, innocent children and women cannot be left without care, either”, he added.

“However, not everyone who wants to enter is unfortunate.  If it is possible to differentiate and identify those fleeing war, these people must be taken in.  But they are coming by hundreds of thousands and millions, and we do not know their country of origin and their motivations. It is a naive mistake to take in those who are not refugees or arrive with speculative intention. We provide those who are now stuck here with basic social services only”, the Mayor said.

Máté Kocsis, Councillor for municipal affairs and law enforcement stated in the debate that they trust that following the adoption of the law package currently before Parliament, the migratory pressure on Budapest will be eased as a result of 6-10 transit zones being established along the border. He also mentioned that so far there have been 3 temporary social care facilities operating in the capital, and the capital administration will now try to substitute these with a central social care facility. Its total costs may reach up to HUF 370-400 million. As of tomorrow, the capital will start the establishment of the social care facility located in Verseny utca; the works related to the establishment may last for 10-12 days. According to Máté Kocsis, the reason why the social care facility must be established close to the railway station is that this way there is more chance that the migrants will decide on proceeding their way. He added: the capital is establishing a zone suitable for short stay and satisfying basic needs; it is providing drinking water, basic healthcare, tents, but no refugee camp.


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