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BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Several thousand protesters gathered in front of Hungary's parliament on Saturday to denounce the 2010 budget which they said would endanger the welfare of those already suffering during the economic crisis. The protest, organised by the centre-right opposition Fidesz, aims to stop what the party says is the "most dangerous budget in the past 20 years" and will endanger social services.
Fidesz, which all polls indicate will win an election April or May, has already said it would repeal or rewrite the 2010 budget if it comes to power.
Hungary's Socialist-backed government aims to cut the budget deficit to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product from an expected 3.9 percent this year as per its agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which rescued the country a year ago from financial collapse.
Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai has said the deficit cut is necessary both to meet IMF aid conditions and to improve the competitiveness of the economy.
Hungary, suffering its biggest economic downturn in two decades, expects its GDP to shrink by 6.7 percent this year and 0.9 percent in 2010, and sees growth returning only in 2011.
In neighbouring Romania, hundreds of thousands of public sector workers held a one-day strike on Monday to protest at the government's fiscal belt tightening during its efforts to meet IMF aid conditions.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi)

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