State won't share right of law enforcement, says PM spokes (adds details)

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 22th of April 2011   Source: mti

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The Hungarian state will not share the authority of keeping public order with anyone, the prime minister's spokesman told reporters on Friday.


Peter Szijjarto presented the government's Friday decree designed to penalise civil guard activities conducted without prior approval by the police or feigning a right to act as a keeper of public order.  


"Anyone committing acts we have seen during the past weeks, refusing to accept that in Hungary the state has the exclusive right, the opportunity and the responsibility to enforce public order, will face sanctions," Szijjarto said.


Violation of the decree will be qualified as a minor offence and can be penalised by a fine of up to 100,000 forints, or 370 euros, the spokesman said. The new decree, signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, will take effect on Saturday, said Szijjarto.


Under Hungary's current laws, civil guards operate under strict rules and have to coordinate their actions with police.


Earlier in the day the green LMP party called on radical nationalist group Vedero to "pack and leave" its camp near a Roma neighbourhood in Gyongyospata, deputy David Dorosz said. The town is located 70 kms northeast of Budapest, with 2600 inhabitants.  


The opposition Socialist Party on Friday has called on the Fidesz-Christian Democratic government to step down. Socialist spokesman Zsolt Torok told reporters that the "government is unable to govern, both its economic and social policies have failed". He argued that the government has only memorised "circus" out of the phrase "bread and circus" and it "won't feed hungry mouths", Torok insisted.


The US Embassy in Budapest is closely watching events in Gyongyospata, the embassy told MTI on Friday. Inclusion of the Roma community is an important priority for the United States, the embassy added.


Nearly four hundred police arrived in Gyongyospata and cordoned off the campsite belonging to Vedero (meaning defence force) earlier on Friday.


The police are also to prevent participants in Vedero's "military training" held between Friday and Sunday from approaching the campsite through an adjacent Roma neighbourhood.


Women and children of the local Roma community - altogether 276 people - had left their homes early in the morning fearing that the vicinity of the paramilitary event might create a tense situation. Male members of the community have decided to stay and protect their properties.


The Roma were transported by buses to temporary shelters at different locations in Budapest including the Csilleberc youth camp in Buda by activists of the Roma Civil Rights Movement and the Red Cross.


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