The new Hungarian government looks set for a showdown with part of the electorate over its austerity measures. Several thousand trade unionists have demonstrated in Budapest against sweeping civil service job losses, tax increases, and subsidy cuts designed to trim Hungary’s budget deficit of eight percent of GDP- the highest in the EU.
Such a deficit would stop Hungary joining the Euro single currency, but vice president of the trade unions’ national federation says ordinary people will be hurt: “We’re protesting against the gas, electricity and current expenses price rises”, he said. Parliament is due to approve the austerity package on Monday. Hungary’s currency is at an all-time low against the Euro.