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Jan 19, 2017

Budapest 2024 Olympic bid faces referendum challenge from youth group

The Budapest bid faces a new referendum challenge after relatively unknown youth group Momentum said they will begin collecting signatures this week to force a vote. The "NOlimpia" referendum drive needs 138,000 signatures to force the vote

A relatively unknown youth organization named Momentum is mounting a signature-collection campaign in Budapest to challenge the Hungary's bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, according to reports.

The group has said that it will begin canvassing for signatures this week to force a popular referendum. The "NOlimpia" referendum drive needs 138,000 signatures to force a vote.

Momentum was set up in 2015 by a group of Hungarians mostly in their 20s and 30s, and group leader András Fekete-Győr said that some 300 volunteers have signed up to begin collecting signatures within a 30-day deadline.

The group believe that Hungary would be better off if the Olympics didn't go ahead in Budapest and the money would be better spent on education, health and public transport.

Once considered a dark-horse candidate, the Budapest is regarded now as a serious contender and remains with only Los Angeles and Paris as the finalist cities for the summer games of 2024. Budapest has never hosted an Olympics, although the central European country is one of the top 10 nations in the Olympics' overall medals table. The winning city will be announced in September when the International Olympic Committee assembles in Lima, Peru to vote.