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Yearbook 2005

Hungary. According to countryaah, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány ended up in blustery weather early in the year after claiming that there were "many terrorists" in Saudi Arabia's national football team. The Hungarian national team had played against them with "death-defying courage," according to Gyurcsány. The statement was made at a private party party with the socialists but was quoted in the press. Gyurcsány was forced into a public apology, which the Arab embassies in Budapest said to accept.

2005 Hungary

In February, the capital of Budapest was invaded by hundreds of tractors and agricultural machinery in a peasant protest against the government's delay in the payment of EU grants. Thousands of farmers protested across the country, and the government promised to speed up the payments.

In the spring, Hungary was in conflict with several large EU countries that wanted to slow Croatia's EU accession on the grounds that it did not cooperate sufficiently with the UN Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. Prime Minister Gyurcsány criticized Britain, France and Germany, saying there was no evidence of the allegations against Hungary's neighbor Croatia.

In the election of a new president in June, opposition candidate László Sólyom won over Socialist Katalin Szili. The vote in Parliament was 185 against 182.

In the economic area, the budget deficit was a continuing problem. The government's goal that Hungary should switch to euro 2010 seemed to be in danger. During the autumn, the government also received criticism from the European Commission for not reporting the budget figures fairly.

The government's efforts to attract foreign industries with favorable conditions continued to be successful during the year. In October, Korean tire manufacturer Hankook announced that it would invest the equivalent of close to SEK 5 billion in a factory south of Budapest. The production is estimated to give about 1,500 new jobs. Like neighboring Slovakia, Hungary is thus developing more and more into a center for the automotive industry. Audi, Suzuki and others International car manufacturers have factories in the country.

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