Hungary’s leader Ferenc Gyurcsany has had his request for talks with the country’s opposition turned down. It comes as the authorities debate how to deal with sometimes violent protests. The Prime Minister said more trouble would not be tolerated. The government does not wish to change its politics or the reform path it is on, he said. Even the results of upcoming local elections will not affect that.
He praised a decision by political opponents to postpone a rally scheduled for Saturday in Budapest. Leaders from the main opposition party Fidesz have put it off because of fears of more violence.
But the party still intends to keep up the pressure. It says the local elections in two weeks time should act as a referendum, arguing the government is no longer legitimate after the prime minister’s admission that he had lied about the economy.
Outside the Parliament, peaceful protests have continued throughout the day, and more are expected on Thursday night. A new opinion poll suggests more Hungarians want Gyurcsany to go than to stay. While he vows to fight on, the security concerns and a worsening financial crisis are putting his Socialist government under intense strain.