The Prime Minister stressed that Veszprém is a traditional city with a traditional mentality, and its people should be proud of their achievements: “they have been good stewards of the opportunities they have had so far”. This augurs well for further development projects, rather than badly; Hungarian cities must dare to be successful, and accordingly put new proposals to the Government”, he said.
Providing further details, Mr. Orbán said that the parties had agreed to settle the debts of BudaWest Airport in Szentkirályszabadja and to establish an industrial zone, the total costs of which will be some 4 billion forints (EUR 12.7M).
An industrial park will be established, which will also be home to a vocational training practice centre; a “knowledge park” will also be created, the exact elements of which will be established at a later date, the Prime Minister told the press.
The agreement also includes funding for the merging of the railway station with the bus station, the specific plans for which are still under development, Mr. Orbán added. A new 3 billion forint (EUR 9.5M) viaduct will also be built, which will be complemented by a road construction project, also costing 3 billion forints, the Prime Minister indicated.
The Csopak-Alsóörs, Zirc and Somló cycle routes will be constructed to budgets of 280 million, 500 million and 600 million forints, respectively.
The Prime Minister also said that Veszprém’s Petőfi Theatre will be renovated, although in this case no agreement has been reached on an exact budget for the project. Renovation of the city’s zoo will receive 2.5 billion forints, and 762 million forints will be spent on renovation of the Music School, he added.
The Veszprém Aréna will be enlarged to accommodate eight thousand people, at a cost of 3 billion forints; the athletics stadium will be renovated at a cost of 1.2 billion forints; and a new swimming pool will also be constructed in the city, Mr. Orbán said.
According to the agreement, the Prime Minister said that the A8 and A82 roads will be connected and a parking area and roundabout will be established in the area.
He also mentioned that construction of a southern bypass would cost 30 billion forints (EUR 95M), but at the moment the central budget cannot allocate resources for this purpose, and it is impossible to acquire EU funding for the project. However, the project will be kept on the agenda and will be realised as soon as possible, he added.
In reply to a question from the press, Mr. Orbán said that a feature of Hungary now is above average growth.
Economic growth of 3 per cent is good, but we should not be satisfied with that and must target 5 per cent growth, he stressed. Hungary needs 5 per cent growth to be able to exploit the full potential of the economy and reduce the gap in the quality of life compared to more fortunate countries, he explained. The country does not yet have the economic policies to increase growth from 3 per cent to 5 per cent, and the surrounding environment is also not favourable for the development of such policies, he explained, adding that despite this Hungary must set 5 per cent growth as its goal.
Mayor Gyula Porga stressed that the agreement they signed is also important because the state has recognised that large cities must receive support, and this in turn facilitates the development of Hungary’s regions. The Government and local governments have forged an alliance to build a strong Hungary, he said. Mr. Porga told the press that part of this alliance has been the separation of state and local government responsibilities, the consolidation of the city’s debts – which were over 7 billion forints – and that the Government’s shouldering of the burdens associated with the Veszprém Aréna project.
The Mayor also said that Veszprém had received 10 billion forints in funding during the previous EU programming period, and the city’s businesses had been awarded a further 65 billion forints in financial support. Industrial output increased by 40 per cent during the previous EU funding period and four thousand new jobs had been created in the city, he added.