Budapest rejects plans to build Chinese university – EURACTIV.com
Budapest’s Green Mayor Gergely Karácsony, who recently announced his candidacy for prime minister during the opposition primaries, rejected the construction of Fudan University on its planned site after talks with the minister of ‘Innovation and Technology László Palkovics Monday.
“We do not particularly support [the investment] based on what we have learned today, and we will use all possible legal and political means to ensure that the student city is built and that Fudan is not, ”Karácsony told reporters after the meeting with Krisztina Baranyi, head of the Ferencváros district of the capital where the investment is planned.
The feud between the leaders of the capital and the government has lasted for more than a month after a investigation through Direkt36 revealed that the Hungarian leader is planning to contract a Chinese company to build the new campus of Fudan University, based in Shanghai, Budapest.
The Chinese investment also called into question the fate of the student city initially planned for the same place, which included more than 8,000 dormitory places. The construction of the student city was one of the conditions for Budapest and its opposition-led neighborhoods to support the organization of the 2023 World Athletics Championships in the capital and the construction of the Ferencváros athletics stadium.
Karácsony said the student town would be evicted by Fudan and be built on a fraction of the space originally planned.
The mayor added that he trusted Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s promise and his “granite strength” words that what the Budapest leadership did not support would not be built.
Baranyi also announced plans for an online survey of residents of the capital to find out whether they want Fudan University to replace the student town in June, preceded by forums and discussions.
The results of investigation previously showed that the majority of Budapest residents did not believe that the Fudan campus should be built on the student city site.
The campus of Fudan University would be built by a pre-approved Chinese construction company, with Chinese workers and a Chinese loan of 1.25 billion euros (450 billion HUF).
The Hungarian government had already promised around 2.3 million euros to support real estate purchases by Fudan University (Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com with Telex)