Rally backs Hungary PM in battle with EU
Viktor Orban's leadership threatens democracy and puts at risk pending bailout, European leaders say.
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2012 02:27

At least 100,000 people took to the streets of Budapest on Saturday in support of Viktor Orban, Hungary's two-time prime minister, who is currently caught up in a dispute with the European Union over new laws which the EU says threaten democracy.

Many Hungarians view the International Monetary Fund and European Union as bullies forcing their way on Hungary, and Orban must keep his supporters happy while also negotiating with foreign powers. Orban has agreed to not merge his country's central bank with the organisation tasked as its watchdog, but he must take more steps to receive an IMF bailout.

Attila Mesterhazy, the president of the Hungarian Socialist Party, says Orban is trying to portray himself as the protector of Hungarian sovereignty and the attacks on him as attacks on the people.

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands reports from Budapest.

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