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The City Centre Old Market Hall project was not approved at council session

THE PLAN by the Aliancia Stará tržnica (Old Market Hall Alliance) to transform the market hall in SNP Square into a city cultural centre was not approved by the city council at its January 24 session. Aliancia had been preparing the project for several months, and even though it was approved at the last 2012 council session, it failed in the January session.

Interior of the Old Market-hall in Bratislava. (Source: Sme - Vladimír Šimíček)

THE PLAN by the Aliancia Stará tržnica (Old Market Hall Alliance) to transform the market hall in SNP Square into a city cultural centre was not approved by the city council at its January 24 session. Aliancia had been preparing the project for several months, and even though it was approved at the last 2012 council session, it failed in the January session.

The TASR newswire wrote that on January 24, the city council voted on the project again, as shortly before last year’s session, the company Guarant International filed its Ars Atrium project aimed at turning the market hall into a venue for conferences. Thus, the city evaluated organising a public tender. However, Aliancia’s project was more convenient for the city, and so a proposal was sent to the city council’s session, proposing to approve the City Centre Old Market Hall project and rent the market hall to Aliancia.

Only 20 out of 30 council members took part in the session, Denisa Chylová of the Aliancia Stará tržnica told TASR. “Out of that, 14 members of Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Most-Híd and independent parties voted for the project, while the remaining six representatives, from the Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH) and Smer, abstained from the vote,” she said. New deputy mayor Ján Budaj (Zmena zdola-DÚ) did not support the Aliancia project, either. He wrote on social networking websites that he has never supported the practice of selling or renting city property for decades at a time without a tender. He insists on a fair public tender and for the public to get the chance to evaluate both projects.

“To obstruct projects that do not ask for anything and bring exactly what the city lacks, in a time when there is a lack of money – this is beyond all reason,” the mayor of the Staré Mesto (Old Town) borough of Bratislava, Tatiana Rosová, said in reaction to the vote. To approve the project, an absolute majority of 16 votes was necessary. For the project to now make it to the February plenary session of the city’s representation, representatives need to vote for it to be put on the session’s agenda.

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