Tuesday, March 26, 2019
facebook
World

Posted at: Dec 22, 2018, 12:33 PM; last updated: Dec 22, 2018, 12:33 PM (IST)

Thousands of Hungarians join latest rally against PM Orban’s reforms

Thousands of Hungarians join latest rally against PM Orban’s reforms
A defaced placard with the face of Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban is held during a protest against a proposed new labour law, billed as the ‘slave law’, at the Presidential Palace in Budapest, Hungary, on December 21, 2018. Reuters

Budapest, December 22

Thousands of Hungarians marched to the presidential palace late on Friday to protest against reforms to the labour code as a rally led by spoof political party MKKP merged with a subsequent demonstration staged by opposition groups.

Passage of two laws last week backed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party angered a variety of groups.

One, dubbed by critics the “slave law”, allows employers to ask staff to work up to 400 hours per year of overtime. Another would set up new courts which critics say could be politically manipulated.

MKKP’s gathering started outside Parliament, where one protester brandished a placard saying “Happy boss, gloomy Sunday”.

The Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP), launched over a decade ago as a joke, has become a semi-serious force, using ironic humour to tackle practical issues.

“I wanted to come because I consider the Dog Party to be the most serious of all in the current lineup, which is rather sad,” said student Almos Edes, 26, a university student holding a sign saying ‘We promise everything’ beneath a logo of Fidesz.

Edes was sceptical of any change being triggered by the rallies, but said he had joined to make his voice heard.

Friday’s rally also took aim at grievances including regulations that have led to the departure of the Central European University, founded by Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, from Budapest.

“We can finally work eight days a week. We no longer need to hassle with independent courts. Homelessness has been eliminated. Irritating foreign schools will vanish. And Soros, Soros, Soros, Soros, Soros,” said an invitation to the rally posted on Facebook.

Orban has said the protests have been partly stoked by activists paid by Soros, an accusation Soros’ Open Society Foundation has denied.

Demonstrators, subsequently joined by another rally called by opposition groups, then marched up to the presidential palace in Buda Castle, briefly blocking a bridge crossing the Danube River. Reuters

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On