- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - Opponents of Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics have begun gathering the 138,000 signatures needed to hold a city referendum on the candidacy.

The Momentum Movement, a new political group behind the current referendum attempt, says the Olympics will be too expensive, that the government is underestimating costs and that the money should be spent instead on improving education and health care.

Several earlier attempts to hold similar referendums in Budapest or nationally were either blocked by the courts or abandoned.

Organizers have 30 days to gather the needed signatures. Several opposition parties said they backed the referendum and would urge their supporters to sign the petition.

Los Angeles and Paris are the other bidders. The International Olympic Committee will select the host city in September.

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