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Monday, 5 June, 2000, 07:03 GMT 08:03 UK
Bitter Hungarians recall Trianon
Europe! Justice for Hungary! reads the huge banner
Hungarian demonstrators have marked the 80th anniversary of a peace treaty which still leaves a bitter taste.

After World War I, the 1920 Trianon Peace Treaty deprived Hungary of two-thirds of its former territory, leaving sizable pockets of ethnic Hungarians displaced across today's Romania, Slovakia, Croatia and Serbia.

Inaugurated: New memorial to lost territory
Prime Minister Viktor Orban addressed a ceremony at the village of Edeleny - a symbolic national centre northeast of Budapest, but urged people to look to the future.

"In the past 1,000 years, five empires occupied us. The Tartars, then the Turks, then the Habsburgs, then the Third Reich and finally the Soviet empire. And all of them have vanished without a trace," Mr Orban said, in comments broadcast by Hungarian Radio.

"But, still, we're here, we survived, and now we're thinking of the next millennium and planning our future," he said.

Cloaked in the flag - nationalist supporters
Extremists show strength

Meanwhile in Budapest, the far right took centre stage with some 8,000 massing in the city's Heroes' Square. "No, no, never" and "Down with Trianon" demonstrators shouted at the rally, which was organised by the far-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party.

We have to say openly that it was a robbing, unjust peace which ignored fundamental human rights

Minister Jozsef Torgyan

Agriculture Minister Jozsef Torgyan, head of the Independent Smallholders' Party - the second-strongest force in Prime Minister Orban's three-party coalition government - also condemned the treaty.

"Now, on the 80th anniversary of the Trianon tragedy, we finally have to say it openly that the Trianon peace dictate was a robbing peace, an unjust peace which was concluded on the basis of ignoring fundamental human rights and freedoms."

Hungarian girl
Some protesters wore traditional national costume

"It trod on all achievements of Western civilization," Mr Torgyan said in the northern village of Zebegeny, at the beginning of a memorial ceremony where a Trianon monument was inaugurated.

No border changes

But other Hungarians cautioned against opening old wounds and upsetting neighbouring countries with talk of border revisions.

The solution is the entire region's integration into the developed part of Europe and accession to the EU

Socialist leader Laszlo Kovacs
"The solution is not the revision of the Trianon peace dictate, which is not valid today anyway," Laszlo Kovacs, chairman of the opposition Hungarian Socialist Party, told Duna TV.

"The solution is the entire region's integration into the developed part of Europe, accession to the EU, because, through this, the borders will essentially lose their separating nature, their significance," he said.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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26 Mar 00 | Media reports
Battle for Hungary's media
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