(Olympics) Budapest mulls 2024 bidSports | 17 Feb 2017 11:58 pm
The mayor of Budapest said he may propose withdrawing the city's bid for the 2024 Olympics next week.
Speaking to news site Index.hu, Istvan Tarlos said he could make his proposal to the Budapest Assembly as soon as Wednesday, once he has confirmed the position of the government and the Hungarian Olympic Committee, both of which said a decision on withdrawing the bid rested with city authorities.
Tarlos' statement came after the apparent success of a petition launched by opponents of the bid, who presented election officials with forms containing 266,151 signatures seeking a referendum, far more than the minimum of 138,000 valid signatures needed.
Budapest City Hall did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
"Over a quarter million signatures have come together so this money is spent on modern hospitals and well-equipped schools instead of on the Olympics,'' said Andras Fekete-Gyor, chairman of Momentum Movement, a new political group behind the initiative.
He added it would be "cowardly'' if authorities tried to block the referendum or withdrew the candidacy without allowing the referendum to take place. -AP