Hungary says no plans for referendum on 2024 Olympic bid
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) Hungary has no plans to hold a referendum on Budapest's bid for the 2024 Summer Games, the country's national Olympic committee said Friday.
The Hungarian Olympic Committee issued a statement to shoot down ''various misconceptions'' about the possibility of a public vote on the bid, saying there is ''solid support and a powerful unity'' behind the project.
Public opinion poll results published this week in the daily newspaper Nepszabadsag found that 51 percent of Hungarians want a referendum. The paper reported that 46 percent back Budapest's bid, with 41 percent against.
''Such referendum is neither required nor expected by the IOC,'' the statement said. ''Consequently there are no plans to hold a vote whether we should bid or not. Such binding decisions have been made and important work is in progress.''
The committee acknowledged that the Hungarian constitution allows citizens to collect signatures for a referendum.
''No such initiative has been made, no such plans were communicated by any group,'' it said.
Budapest is one of five cities bidding for the 2024 Games, along with Rome, Paris, Los Angeles and Hamburg, Germany. The IOC will choose the host city in 2017.
Hamburg residents are scheduled to vote in a referendum on the German port city's bid on Nov. 29. No other bid cities have committed to a public vote.
The Hungarian statement said the city of Budapest and the national parliament passed resolutions in favor of the bid with support of more than 80 percent.
''Majority and minority political groups cooperated in making such decisions and there was a real cross-party support for the bid,'' it said.
The Budapest bid stresses that Hungary is the only country among the top 10 medal-winning nations in the Summer Olympics that has yet to host the games.
Budapest is bidding at a time when Hungary is at the center of the migrant crisis in Europe. Hungary has built a razor-wire fence along its border with Serbia and is building other fences with Croatia, Romania and Slovenia.