Hungarians resent Brussels...

City A.M. Reporter
GOVERNMENT supporters rallied over the weekend to support PM Viktor Orban after the European Commission began legal action against his constitutional reforms.

More than 100,000 people gathered on Saturday to support the ruling Fidesz party as it prepares to compromise in a bitter row with the EU to secure a vital loan.

Critics say the new constitution threatens the independence of the media, judiciary and central bank – which is not allowed under EU rules.

However, the government has announced it is prepared to make legal changes to placate the Commission, as it needs a loan if it is to keep access to financial markets.

Orban will travel to Brussels tomorrow in an effort to negotiate a political agreement with EC president Barroso, which he hopes will open the way for loan talks with the EU and IMF.

At the start of the month, 70,000 protesters rallied against the government and its constitution, and opinion polls suggest Fidesz – which won a large majority in parliament in 2010 – now has the support of just 1.5m voters in a country of 10m.

However, the most recent rally is intended to push the government to stand up to the EU.

“We won’t be a dominion, we don’t want to be a colony,” rally organiser and news editor Andras Bencsik told the crowd. “This is our message to those abroad. The other message is we fully support Viktor Orban, and we are proud of what we achieved at the 2010 elections.”