Hungarian protesters hold anti-PM Orban ‘indignation’ rallies

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Tens of thousands of protesters rally in Budapest in a show of “indignation” over the policies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban with riot police moving in to stop an attempted storming of parliament. Duration: 01:30

Hungarian protesters hold anti-PM Orban 'indignation' rallies

Hungarian protesters hold anti-PM Orban ‘indignation’ rallies

/ Budapest (Hungary) – 18 November 2014 04:06 – AFP – LEAD

Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Budapest on Monday in a show of “indignation” over the policies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban with riot police moving in to stop an attempted storming of parliament.

The “Day of Indignation” was the latest in a series of large street protests begun last month after Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party proposed a tax on Internet usage.

A crowd estimated by an AFP photographer at around 25,000 held placards reading “We can’t pay as much taxes as you steal!” at the largest rally, outside the Hungarian parliament in Budapest. Protestors also shouted “Orban, get out!”

“We don’t want Orban to take us towards Putin and Russia. We are an EU country, and we want to stay in Europe, where we belong,” Balint Farkas, a 26-year-old IT student, told AFP.

Several thousand people remained after the official end of the demonstration, many clashing with hundreds of riot police protecting the parliament building.

The Budapest demonstration was the largest of more than 20 protests held across Hungary on Monday.

Smaller protests were also held abroad, including in London, Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam.

Massive protests in October against the proposed Internet tax forced Orban to quickly scrap the idea, his first major policy retreat since he returned to power in 2010.

Then last week some 10,000 people marched to demand the removal of tax authority chief Ildiko Vida after the United States denied her a visa over alleged corruption, an accusation she fiercely rejected while refusing to resign.

Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party, reelected with a second supermajority in a row last April after wins at European and municipality elections, remain dominant at home, but have had to deal lately with sharpened criticism from Washington.

In September, US President Barack Obama criticised Hungary for harassing civic organisations, while Washington’s top diplomat in Budapest Andre Goodfriend, after announcing the entry bans of six public officials including Vida, said that “negative trends (have) rapidly taken hold”.

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Tags : Rallies, Indignation, Orban, Antipm, hold, protesters, Hungarian

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