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Violence erupts in Hungary as country plunges into moral crisis

19.09.2006
 
Violence erupts in Hungary as country plunges into moral crisis

Protesters clashed with police and stormed state television headquarters early today, responding with violence to a leaked recording that caught Hungary's prime minister admitting that the government "lied morning, evening and night" to win April elections.

Rescue services said that at least 50 people were injured as police fired tear gas and water cannons at rock-throwing protesters who have demanded that Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's government resign. He said he had no plans to do so.

The violence followed a mainly peaceful demonstration that began a day earlier outside parliament, after a recording made in May was leaked to local media, Los Angeles Times reports.

Some of those taking part in the demonstration were said to be from fringe right-wing parties. A group of people did manage to get inside the TV station which was forced off air amid reports of vandalism and looting. The building is near parliament where thousands of protesters had gathered. While the man at the centre of the storm, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany has the backing of his fellow Socialists, the main opposition party says it will boycott parliament today,

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's Socialist-led coalition won a decisive victory in Hungary 's parliamentary elections in April. His government thereby became the first in central and eastern Europe to serve consecutive terms in office since the fall of communism. Born in 1961, Gyurcsany is not a natural political animal. He made his name and fortune by buying up former state assets following the advent of privatisation. After his re-election this year, he vowed to axe public sector jobs and raise taxes to tackle the joint problems of economic growth and the huge budget deficit, the highest in Europe at 6.1 percent of GDP, EuroNews reports.

''We lied in the morning, we lied in the evening about issues such as tax hikes". Ferenc Gyurcsany was caught saying this on tape admitting to having lied to help secure victory.

The Prime Minister was making these comments to his own party members saying, that "no European country has done such stupid things. He also adds that it is obvious what we told the electorate is not true" a frank admission by the leader of a country.

The tape which sparked the protests was made at a closed-door meeting in late May, weeks after Gyurcsany's government became the first in post-communist Hungary to win re-election, ndtv.com says.

Source: agencies

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
Pravda.ru

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