Hungarian fireworks display '1990', but no major problems

BUDAPEST, Jan 1, 2000 -- (AFP) Hungary rolled into 2000 problem-free save for a faulty fireworks display that showed 1990 instead of 1999 before changing into 2000 Saturday, an information and alerts center set up for Y2K problems said.

The faulty display was on a barge on the river Danube in front of Budapest's spectacular Parliament building, lit up specially to mark the new millennium at midnight.

The barge throwing out fireworks was courtesy of the office of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and cost some 43 million forints (160,000 Euro), officials said earlier.

Hungary otherwise reported no hitches rolling into the new year, as thousands of people turned out in Budapest to mark the new millennium.

The country's sole Soviet-built nuclear power station in the southern Paks was safe as engineers have worked on the date change since 1997, director-general Sandor Nagy said though experts were on special alert on New Year's Eve.

In an alert center to follow date change problems world- and nationwide, relieved officials from some 20 key administrative units and service companies were clinking champagne glasses, government commissioner for the date change Imre Mojzes said.

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