Hungarian protests continue for 5th day
Friday, September 22, 2006, 13:46
Hungarian anti-government demonstrations took place peacefully in Budapest last night, following three nights of clashes between police and rioters. A crowd of about 8,000 people gathered outside parliament in a fifth night of protests against Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, sparked by his speech that the political elite lied before April elections. „The night was quiet, you can't even compare it to the previous few days,” said Éva Tafferner, a police spokeswoman, in a phone interview. Police arrested 9 people for disorderly behavior such as turning over trash cans and damaging road signs, she said. No violence was reported. Speakers outside parliament urged the government to resign, calling it illegitimate. They included members of anti-European Union and nationalistic parties and a man wanted by police for playing a part in the storming of the television building on Monday night. Music, sometimes played by skinhead bands, accompanied the demonstration, according to the Web site Index. Last night was the first without rioting since Sunday. Street violence left more than 260 people injured and about 200 arrested during the week. Civil unions as well as political parties have finally cancelled their demonstrations, which were supposed to be held during the forthcoming weekend. Some said they cancelled the programs because they would not be able to keep violent demonstrators away from their, otherwise peaceful, demonstrations. Others said that since the government and the police forces cannot guarantee the safety of the people at their demonstrations they have no choice but cancellation.