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Demonstration held in Hungary against national assets bill

A demonstration organized by the civil group „Live Chain for Hungary” against a bill on national assets attracted about 2,000-3,000 people to the square in front of the Parliament on Monday evening.

„National assets are not for sale,” declared speakers addressing the demonstrators. Parliament in June approved legislation on state assets, which provided for the creation of a single body to oversee almost all state wealth. President László Sólyom subsequently sent the law back to Parliament for reconsideration, arguing the new agency was redundant since a comparable body already existed. He also objected to the proposal that the new body should operate for longer than a single government term.

The proposed seven members of the new body, the National Asset-Manager (Nemzeti Vagyonkezelő Zrt), upon which MPs voted (190 against 156) for a second time at around 8pm local time Monday, gives the right to sell state assets, including assets previously banned from sale or commission another party to do so. Members of the board are to be elected by MPs, representatives from the National Interest Co- ordination Council and the minister in charge of state assets. Organizers estimated the demonstrators’ number to be about 2,000-3,000. (MTI, origo)