Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, facing a vote of confidence in parliament today, apologized for not telling citizens the truth about the state of the country's economy. The premier also said he regretted foul language he used when he was caught on tape talking to members of his Socialist Party about how they lied over the economy to win elections in April. The tape, leaked to the media last month, sparked demonstrations that turned into riots for three days in very sustained street violence. Gyurcsány called for the vote of confidence October 2 to underscore his mandate and face down calls for his resignation. Leaders of the governing coalition of Socialists and the Free Democrats' Alliance pledged to back Gyurcsány, the first Hungarian premier to face such a vote since communism fell 16 years ago. The prime minister today also said he would continue carrying out his austerity program of raising taxes and cutting subsidies for natural gas, medicines and electricity to curb the European Union's largest budget deficit and meet terms to adopt the euro. „Maybe there are some other ways” to trim the country's budget deficit, „but we don't see any other program, we only see our own,” Gyurcsány told lawmakers today. (Bloomberg)
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