Budapest Rally Gathers 100,000 Government Supporters

Posted January 21st, 2012 at 4:05 pm (UTC-5)
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An estimated 100,000 people have rallied in Hungary's capital to support Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is under fire over controversial media reforms.

The protest Saturday in Budapest was organized by supporters of the ruling center-right Fidesz party, led by Mr. Orban. Many of those taking part carried Hungarian flags, sang patriotic songs and chanted slogans in support of the prime minister.

“This man (Prime Minister Orban) is fighting for us, fighting for the nation. He's been an honest man in the last 20 years. He's the most trustworthy man.”

The European Union has criticized Hungary's new laws covering regulation of the central bank, judiciary, and the data protection office threaten the independence of those institutions and violate EU regulations.

EU leaders and International Monetary Fund have suspended talks with Budapest on a new loan for Hungary and threatened and threatened a possible legal action. The European Commission has given Hungary a month to change some of its controversial laws.

Mr. Orban promised to have some of the controversial laws modified. He will meet with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels Tuesday.

Many Hungarians say the EU criticism is unfair.

“There is an undeserved attack against this country, and I feel that we can support our government if we show ourselves united. We are here for the government because we feel it's working well, and this protest shows this.”

Earlier this month thousands of anti-government protesters rallied against Hungary's controversial new constitution.