Rioters clash with police on third night
The most violent rioters were known to the police, Magyar Hírlap reported, citing unidentified officials. The core was identified as supporters of Budapest soccer teams Ferencváros and Újpest, joined by members of right-wing groups Jobbik and the 64 Counties Movement, according to the newspaper. The expletive-laden tape recording that sparked the protests was leaked to several media outlets on September 17. Gyurcsány later published the full text in his Internet diary. He was calling for the start of a cleansing process in Hungarian politics, he said. Gyurcsány and Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky urged police to crack down harder on protesters who have led two nights of rioting in the capital city. The mayor called the rioters criminals and urged the police to „push them off the streets.”
„I won't be calm,” said Demszky at a press conference. „These extremist elements continued to wreak havoc on our city. They tried to occupy more public areas and to damage public institutions.” Fitch Ratings cut the outlook on Hungary's credit ratings to negative from stable, citing the possibility that the protests and street violence may force the government to soften its austerity package. „Recent developments have increased the chances that the government's much-needed reform program, spearheaded by the Prime Minister, will be diluted,” David Heslam, a Fitch credit analyst, said in an e-mailed statement. Pope Benedict XVI, who yesterday met Hungarian pilgrims following the beatification of Sára Salkaházi last week, expressed concern over the situation unfolding in Hungary. „I am monitoring the news from Hungary with worry,” the Pontiff said in Hungarian. (Bloomberg)
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