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Hungarians Protest Orban's 'Moves Toward Russia'

Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Thousands of Hungarians have held a protest against what they view as their government moving closer to Russia.

A crowd of some 5,000 gathered on January 2 in front of the Budapest opera house holding signs criticizing Prime Minister Viktor Orban for actions they condemn as pro-Moscow.

Demonstrations have been taking place in Hungary since October when Orban's government proposed a tax on Internet usage that was later discarded.

Public support for Orban plunged toward the end of 2014 although his party won three major elections earlier in the year.

One protester said he was dismayed by the government "exposing Hungary to Russian influence," citing a 10 billion euro ($12 billion) loan from Russia to expand a Hungarian nuclear plant.

Another protest is scheduled for February 1, one day before a visit to Hungary by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters

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