In Budapest for a brief stop (had I planned this trip a bit more efficiently, I'd be spending a much longer time here: a beautiful, beautiful city) … from the English-language Budapest Sun:
What started off as broad political support for the Hungarian deployment in Iraq has seemingly developed into a maelstrom of mixed political and public opinion.
The Hungarian Gallup Institute conducted a poll at the end of April which showed nearly 77% of Hungarians were in favor of calling back the soldiers serving in Iraq. A mere 15% felt that the Hungarian contingent should continue its efforts.
The poll was conducted before reports on the torture of Iraqi prisoners broke in the world media.
The Hungarian political parties are mostly divided on the issue of whether to maintain a troop presence in Iraq, with the ruling Socialist party stating that the abuse at Abu Ghraib should not affect the decision. But with opposition parties using falling support for the mission to their political benefit, it will become increasingly difficult for the Socialists to remain at least nominally committed.
The Hungarian soldiers' mandate expires at the end of the year. Both the parliamentary parties and the government itself were prepared to take part in four-party talks in order to reach a "careful, balanced consensus", the leaders said. There are currently 290 Hungarian transport troops serving in Iraq.