Saturday, October 14, 2006

Obviously Hungarians are not ready for Democracy

Parliament in Budapest

We arrived in Budapest in the midst of a governmental crisis. In late September, the Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany was overheard speaking at a meeting of senior Socialist Party members saying they had all "lied morning, noon and night" about the state of the country's economy in order to stay in office.

Hungarians were upset by this. Quaint, isn't it? Citizens upset over being lied to by their leaders. They began collecting in front of Parliament and demanding an explanation or the end to the current government. Some of the demonstrators went too far and things got out of hand. That led to worldwide coverage.

When we asked about the demonstrators the hotel staff lept to attention assuring us everything was now calm and ok. And besides it was all just limited to Parliament area.

You don't understand, we said, we are journalists. Ah, they said, and immediately launched into a discussion of "the idiot," and "the liar."

We did see protestors in front of Parliament -- but it was all very civilized. The government had even provided porta-potties for them.

Gyurcsany later in the week won a vote of confidence in Parliament and some began praising him for even inadvertently bringing to light big deficit and currency adjustmentissues the country must face up to as it moves toward EU accession.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was the porta potties and how civilized it was of the government to provide them that was the kicker! However they took them away, too soon!

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