We started the NOlimpia campaign because our taxes are better spent on more important issues than organising the 2024 Olympic Games.
We are sports-loving young people, who love to cheer for our Olympic and Paralympic athletes every four years, but we also think that our country currently face more crucial challenges that don’t allow us the luxury of organizing the Olympic Games.
Our health care system is in a critical condition — more people die from hospital infections than car accidents. The situation of public education is similarly dire: year on year Hungarian pupils are achieving lower scores on the PISA test and simultaneously teaching careers attract ever lower number of people. Young professionals are leaving the country en masse, in order to escape uncertainty and unemployment.
The Hungarian economy scores amongst the lowest in competitiveness, since the fall of communism, whereas corruption is at an all time high. It is not only the international rankings that prove this, but also the fact that whereas taxation is among the highest from EU member states, welfare services are in the bottom 20%. We are taxed as much as the citizens of countries, where public discourse is about introducing basic income, whereas in Hungary almost half the children live in poverty. We simply cannot afford to foot the bill for an Olympics organised by the political elite and their cronies.
One of the important expectations set by the International Olympic Committee is that the host country’s citizens support organizing the games. However, this was not part of any manifesto or debated in 2014 – neither before the parliamentary elections in Hungary, nor before the municipal elections in Budapest. Thus the governing parties do not have a mandate to host the Olympic Games without the expressed consent of the citizenry. According to some recent surveys, both the population of Budapest and the whole country opposes the idea of being the hosts of the 2024 Olympic Games. While the government disregards these numbers, as it is afraid of a public debate, the traditional opposition parties are idle as usual. On the other hand, we firmly believe that a public debate is necessary about the issue.
This is why on December 2, András Fekete-Győr, the President of our organisation submitted our referendum proposal to the local authorities. The question is the following:
“Do you agree that the municipality of Budapest should withdraw its candidacy as a host city of the 2024 Olympic Games?”
The referendum proposal was validated on the 7th of December, and now we need to collect 138,000 signatures for it to actually take place. We are asking all responsible citizens to support us in stopping the government from wasting billions of taxpayers’ money through the Olympic Games. Countries much wealthier than ours cannot afford such a role at the moment, not to mention Hungary. We want to cheer together for our Olympic athletes competing somewhere else, and spend this budget on building our common future instead.
If you find our cause worthy of support, please sign our petition and help us in other ways as well. We are searching for volunteers who collect signatures and help organize the campaign, but we also accept small donations. Furthermore, spread our message — we need media attention to address new audiences — and help us with expert advice!