The depth of the economic crisis in Hungary has forced its Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany to hand over power, in the hope of sparking a recovery and saving his party.
“I hear I am the obstacle to the co-operation needed for change and for stable government,” he said. “I hope it is only me who is the obstacle. If so, then I am eliminating the problem right now. I propose a new government under a new prime minister.” In 2006, Gyurcsany became the first post-communist Hungarian premier to retain power, but violent street protests erupted when he admitted lying about the state of the economy to win the election. His popularity and that of the Socialists collapsed as the unfolding global financial crisis left Hungary the worst-hit of former Soviet bloc east European nations.