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Thousands join anti-government demo

EU

A protest entitled “Spring comes, Orbán goes” held yesterday, a day before Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Budapest, attracted thousands of demonstrators to Kossuth tér outside the Parliament building. 

According to a press release by the organizers, Merkel's visit " is a good opportunity to show that masses are opposed to Mr. Orbán’s politics. The Fidesz government’s actions have steered Hungary on the wrong path – a very dangerous one."

Protest organizers demanded transparent governance, sensible economic policy, weaker Russian influence, freedom of speech and press and respect of human rights and private property. The demonstrators addressed Merkel as well, calling on her to make an effort “to enable the European Union to deal with the phenomena of endangering rule of law within its member states” and to implement a “new union-level procedure to safeguard the rule of law”.

The organizers also demanded “stronger enforcement mechanisms for compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights and the principles and jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights”, greater transparency for EU projects and appropriate handling of “misuses and to repress crimes related to mismanagement of union funds that could not be prevented”.

Alongside the Budapest protest, parallel protests were held in 11 other cities in Hungary and six foreign cities, including London, New York and Berlin.

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