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Mayor stages hunger protest

Attila Barati, the mayor of Pácin, northeast Hungary, yesterday started a hunger strike to protest a cut in government funding for flood prevention, the daily Népszabadság reported. Barati will consume three glasses of water and some vitamins each day until the government guarantees to spend Ft 7 billion ($33 million) on flood prevention projects along the Tisza river. Hungary has earmarked Ft 1.7 billion for such projects in next year's budget. The mayor already succeeded with a previous, 13-day hunger strike in 1993, when he protested for the opening of a border crossing near his village.