Protesters in Budapest on 2 January, 2012
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Hungarian government defends controversial constitution

The Hungarian government says it is "high time" its old constitution was replaced.

Tens of thousands of people have been protesting in Budapest, a day after a controversial new constitution came into force.

The country's governing Fidesz party pushed the law through parliament in April after winning a two-thirds majority in parliamentary elections.

Hungary's Communications Minister, Zoltan Kovacs, told the BBC World Service: "We finally have a new constitution which is giving a new shape to the country".

He added: "When you reconfigure a system you always have to learn it from the very beginning".

  • 03 Jan 2012
  • From the section Europe