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Overtime Bill protest still in the news

December 15th, 2018

The second day of occasionally violent street protests in Budapest have prompted extremely harsh comments to politically committed columnists. A pro-government commentator likens anti-government protesters to pests. A left-wing columnist speculates whether the government will introduce dictatorial rule to stop demonstrators.

On Thursday, a few hundred demonstrators continued to protest against the government’s Overtime Bill enacted by Parliament on Wednesday (see BudaPost December 14). Gergely Gulyás, the Cabinet Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office called the protests illegal and quoting slogans denigrating Jesus interpreted them as an attack on Christianity.

Magyar Hírlap’s Pál Dippold accuses the protests of trying to burn the Christmas tree set up in Kossuth tér. (Demonstrators burned a sleigh under the tree.) The pro-government columnist suspects that the street protests were financed by George Soros. Dippold goes on to liken what he calls ‘aggressive Mercenaries’ of the Hungarian-American billionaire to ‘scavengers, lice, and leeches’. Dippold, however, is convinced that the vast majority of silent Hungarians know that the government’s Overtime Bill serves their interests.

In Népszava, Gábor Horváth finds it strange that those who in the 2006 anti-government riots agreed with the demonstrators now lambast the current anti-government protesters. Horváth thinks that the opposition has no other means to protest than to use illegal action. He goes so far as asking if the government will announce a state of emergency and introduce dictatorial rule.

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