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EU flag burned at far-right rally in Budapest

Elod Novak (R), parliamentary member of Hungarian far-right party Jobbik, burns an EU flag during a demonstration against the European Union, in Budapest Jan 14, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

BUDAPEST - A European Union flag was burned at a rally in Budapest on Saturday organized by far-right party Jobbik.

Jobbik's Deputy President Elod Novak set fire to the flag at the end of the demonstration, which took place outside the Budapest headquarters of the European Commission.

Earlier, Jobbik President Gabor Vona said Hungary should leave the Union and called for a referendum on the issue.

Jobbik organized the demonstration in response to last Wednesday's meeting of the European Commission during which recent controversial laws passed by the Hungarian parliament concerning the independence of the central bank, the judiciary and data protection were deemed as potentially contravening EU legal norms.

The Commission is currently examining the new laws and will decide on Tuesday whether to launch legal action against Hungary. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Thursday that the Commission would use "all our power to make sure that Hungary complies with the principles and values and the rules of the European Union."

Vona called the Commission's stance a "violation of Hungary's sovereignty" and a "declaration of war."


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