Police removes environmental activists in Budapest's City Park | Zoltán Balogh/MTI

Controversial building project starts in Budapest

July 6, 2016

Demolition works have started in Budapest’s City Park in the face of protests by environmentalists. Dozens of activists trying to prevent workers from starting the demolition of an old building to create space for the House of Hungarian Music in the middle of Europe's first public park were removed by police.

Protesters have been on alert for months to prevent the cutting down hundreds of trees to make way for huge concrete buildings into the City Park, a favorite green spot for local people for walks, picnics, walking the dog, etc. Despite opinion polls showing that Budapest citizens overwhelmingly oppose putting such buildings into Europe's first public park, the Hungarian government had decided to build several museums and other public buildings that critics say will attract too many people to the Park, preventing it from serving its current purpose.

The company responsible for new building developments in the park, Városliget Zrt, said in a statement on Wednesday that the area occupied by activists protesting against the Liget Budapest project was now legally under its control.

The ruling Fidesz party called the protests in City Park “hysterical” and claimed the project would make City Park “greener” and turn it into Budapest’s most beautiful park. The green opposition LMP party expressed support for the protesters at the construction site, saying the party would use civil disobedience to thwart the project.


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