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Hungary's Prime Minister to Close Party Headquarters


Hungary's prime minister says he will close his Socialist party's communist-era headquarters, the focus of often-violent protests this week.

Ferenc Gyurcsany made the announcement Saturday, before yet another protest rally began in Budapest. Tens of thousands of people were gathering in another effort to force Mr. Gyurcsany to step down.

A similar demonstration overnight ended peacefully. But earlier in the week, protesters tried to storm the Socialist party headquarters.

Protesters began calling for Mr. Gyurcsany to step down after he was heard on a leaked audio tape admitting he lied repeatedly for years about the poor state of the country's economy in order to remain in power. The prime minister has vowed to remain in office.

Hungary's main opposition party called off a planned demonstration for today because of the violence and rioting that occurred during protests this week. In that violence, hundreds were injured.

In an interview Friday in the "The Washington Post" newspaper, Mr. Gyurcsany says he did not lie, and was only exaggerating on the tape for dramatic effect.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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