Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Riots Grip Budapest

From correspondents in Budapest October 24th, 2006

POLICE fired rubber bullets and tear gas at far-right protestors on the streets of Budapest today as a divided Hungary marked the 50th anniversary of its anti-Soviet uprising.

Police also used water cannon to disperse thousands of demonstrators across the city, with one group of protestors battling to reach the parliament where Hungarian and foreign dignitaries held ceremonies to mark the 1956 uprising.

The main opposition right-wing Fidesz party, which has sought to compare Hungary’s current prime minister to the former Soviet oppressors, boycotted the official ceremonies led by the Socialist government.

That boycott, combined with the riots, torpedoed efforts to put on a show of national unity half a century after the failed revolt that sealed Hungary’s fate as a satellite state of Moscow until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

Some of the protestors battling police in Budapest were Fidesz supporters, who have been out on the streets in their thousands every day for the past two weeks to demand the ouster of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.

Others were far-right extremists equally opposed to Gyurcsany, who has admitted to lying to voters on the economy to win re-election in April. (…. Full Article Here)

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