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Hungarian PM stands firm post riots

Ferenc Gyurcsany says he has no plans to resign after the anti-government riots and vows to push ahead with tough economic reforms.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2006 17:08 IST

Hungary's Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said on Tuesday he had no plans to resign after Monday's anti-government riots and vowed to push ahead with tough economic reforms.

"I had spent three minutes on Sunday night thinking about whether I should step down or whether I had a reason to step down, and the conclusion I came to is that absolutely not," Gyurcsany told the agency in an interview.

He added that his Socialist Party fully backed him and his reforms, even though he had failed to properly communicate painful measures to voters.

The worst riots in Hungary since the end of communism followed the leak of a tape on Sunday in which Gyurcsany said he and his Socialist party had lied for four years about Hungary's budget in order to win a general election in April.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital Budapest late on Monday, attacking the state television building in clashes which left 150 injured.

Higher taxes and fees for healthcare and university tuition had prompted protests before the release of the tape sparked the violent backlash.

The protests came two weeks ahead of local elections on October 1 and follow a slump in the ruling Socialist Party's popularity to 25 percent in polls from 40 per cent at the election.

First Published: Sep 19, 2006 16:57 IST