The city of Budapest on Wednesday launched a bid to host the Olympics in 2024, in a letter sent to Thomas Bach the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“Budapest announces its official candidacy for the hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games in 2024…with the support of the Hungarian government,” the letter read.

The joint statement was signed by Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos and Hungary’s National Olympic Comittee boss Zsolt Borkai.

They stressed that Budapest was in “perfect harmony” with the IOC’s  2020 Agenda, a reform plan aimed at overhauling the Games and making them less expensive.

“We welcome the direction taken by the IOC with the 2020 Agenda, breaking the monopoly of the Games’ organisation by large and and wealthy nations,” the letter said.

The announcement comes two days after the Hungarian parliament approved the bid by 151 to 33.

Budapest joins Paris, Boston, Rome and Hamburg in the race for the Games.

Cities have until September 15 to enter bids and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make a decision at a congress in Lima on September 15, 2017.

Hungary has never hosted an Olympics although it has bid on several occasions, the last time for the 1960 Games. Since Moscow in 1980 no country from Eastern Europe has won the right to hold the Summer Games.

The central European country with a population of 9.9 million, a founding member of the IOC, is in eighth place globally in terms of the number of medals won — 168 gold, 148 silver, 170 bronze. 

A study has shown that hosting the Olympics could generate 1,100 billion forints (3.5 billion euros, $4.1 billion dollars) in revenue, well above the 774 billion forints in required investments. 

One of the world’s top swimming nations, Hungary is already hosting the World Swimming Championships in 2017, after Mexico’s Guadalajara pulled out for financial reasons. – Agence France-Presse

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