The mayor said that “at the moment, there is a pointless controversy about a very serious issue, and which is one of the great environmental challenges of the 21st century. There should be a professional debate on the Debrecen battery factory, but now we are clearly in a politicized dialogue.”
He recalls that last November, a local referendum initiative passed the local electoral committee. “All opposition political parties could have taken the trouble to start collecting signatures in Debrecen, but none of them did, including those who have now submitted referendum initiatives. If this had happened then, they could have set a date for the referendum.”, he said.
The mayor believes that the views and opinions of the people of Debrecen should prevail in all important matters.
“I have worked for Debrecen for 25 years. We have led the city with an absolute majority for a quarter of a century. This cannot be achieved for so long by ignoring the people’s opinions,” László Papp said in an interview with Index.
The biggest problem is that “political actors are also destroying faith in public administration and authorities. If faith and trust are destroyed in the rules and the authorities, the result will be anarchy and chaos because then nobody will be able to govern this city or even the country”, he said adding “that is why we must be very careful with concepts when one of the political players talks about a water-poisoning battery factory. It is safe to say that it is not. It is a lie on which they are building a political campaign.”
When asked by Index how much Debrecen will benefit from the presence of BMW and CATL if production starts, the mayor said that “the really big leap will come in three years’ time, with an increase of at least 50 percent compared to 2022 revenues. This is already going up to 21.5 billion this year, but if we look at the 2022 base, it could be at least 27 billion in 3-4 years.”
According to László Papp, Debrecen does not want to be an industrial city but a business and economic center of this Central European region because, in addition to the development of industrial areas, the service sector has also emerged in the city in recent years, with a number of foreign and Hungarian companies relocating their service centers here.