Thousands of Hungarians rally to back embattled PM Orban
Published: 21st Jan 2012 22:54:07
At least 100,000 people have rallied in Hungary's capital Budapest in support of embattled Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his government.
Participants carried banners in foreign languages, appealing to the European Union to respect Hungarian sovereignty.
Mr Orban and his cabinet have recently come under heavy criticism both at home and in Europe for adopting laws seen as endangering democracy.
The prime minister earlier this week agreed to amend some of the bills.
He is due to meet top EU officials on Tuesday to hammer out details of what changes Budapest is willing to make to the laws to comply with EU treaties.
Saturday's peaceful rally began in Heroes Square - the heart of the Hungarian capital.
The demonstrators then marched down the main boulevard toward the parliament building.
"I would call it a march for peace, to show the government it is not alone, he said, and to show the European Union that we don't like how they are treating it," Zsolt Bayer, a well-known newspaper columnist, told the BBC.
This was a massive show of support for Mr Orban and his Fidesz government, the BBC's Nick Thorpe in Budapest reports.
The backers of the centre-right cabinet also wanted to show that they could mobilise more supporters than the opposition, which earlier this month attracted some 70,000 people for its demonstration.
The legal dispute between Hungary and the EU is about the laws which came into effect 1 January.
The European Commission has warned that the bills on Hungary's central bank, the judiciary and data protection authority put those bodies' independence at risk.
Mr Orban's government has been given a month to make changes. Failure to do so would be grounds for the commission to levy fines or take Hungary to the European Court of Justice.
The commission has also warned that negotiations on a badly-needed loan of up to 20bn euros (£16.5bn; $25bn) from the EU and the International Monetary Fund will not resume until the laws are amended.
At 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Thousands of Hungarians rally to back embattled PM Orban [Online] (Updated 21st Jan 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/219721/Thousands-of-Hungarians-rally-to-back-embattled-PM-Orban [Accessed 8th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales has "a sort of mild Alzheimer's", her husband Tim West has revealed in the Radio Times.
India's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
Two hospitals missed opportunities to take action against a consultant breast surgeon who was performing unnecessary or incomplete operations, a review has found.
The law needs to be changed to stop ticket touts overcharging fans ahead of the Rugby World Cup, an MP has said.
A hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
A man in his 40s has been injured during what is believed to have been an attempted armed robbery in County Down.