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People power in Hungary as protesters stage huge anti-government rally

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By Euronews
People power in Hungary as protesters stage huge anti-government rally

They say they are demonstrating for democracy and against poverty.

Thousands of Hungarians have staged an anti-government rally in Budapest, piling
further pressure on Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

His conservative Fidesz party won a new term with a two-thirds majority last year.

But its support has waned amid protests by civic groups.

“Everyone is in a difficult situation,” one demonstrator told euronews.

“They could be fired from work, with no contracts for their company and no chance to bid for public contracts.”

Perceived political corruption was denounced by many taking part.

“The civil organisations say they don’t want to establish a political party because the parties have discredited themselves,” a woman told us.

“The people do not trust them.”

Accused of authoritarianism and getting too close to Russia, the premier has already been forced to back down from plans to tax Internet use.

His critics now want to reshape the way Hungary has been run since Communism fell.

“We are asking questions of the parties of the last 25 years,” protest organiser Zsolt Várady told the crowd.

“They haven’t taken real and effective steps to engage with the people and govern properly. That is our topic now.”

The demonstration marked the third anniversary of a rally against a new constitution.

Critics say the government has rewritten large swathes of laws to cement the ruling party’s powers.

Our correspondent in Budapest, Attila Magyar, said;

“Despite the wintry weather, people protested again, calling on the prime minister to resign. A few years ago, taking to the streets every two to three weeks would have been unthinkable. Now tens of thousands are demonstrating against the Orban government – many hoping these rallies will have a real impact on policy.”