PM defends gov’t policies on March 15 rally
Speaking to a crowd estimated at 100,000 people by Hungarian media and at 250,000 by state news wire MTI, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán defended his government's policies and demanded fair treatment from the EU in front of the Parliament at a celebration of Hungary’s national holiday on March 15, marking the 164th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1848 revolution and war of independence against the Habsburg rule. "We won't be a colony," Orbán said. "Hungarians won't live according to the commands of foreign powers, they wont give up their independence or their freedom."
Several thousand Poles attended Fidesz’s March 15th celebrations at Kossuth tér; their trip was promoted by Polish conservative weekly Gazeta Polska.
In another part of Budapest, tens of thousands of people demonstrated against the government at a protest organized by grassroots civil organizations and student groups. An opposition protest drew tens of thousands of Hungarians angry with Orbán and his Fidesz party's legislative agenda. The demonstration was organized by the group One Million for the Hungarian Freedom of the Press (Milla for short). Speakers called on the government to guarantee media freedom and observe EU norms.
The Socialist party’ official event, held in Esztergom (north of Budapest), was attended by several thousands of people.
Speakers at the radical Jobbik party’s rally, held at Deák tér, advocated leaving the EU.
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