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Protests against Overtime Act continue

January 8th, 2019

Both a left-wing and a pro-government commentator think that the conflict between the government and the opposition demonstrators is likely to escalate.

On Saturday, a couple of thousand demonstrators protests against the so-called ’slave law’ in Budapest and some other cities in Hungary. Repesentatives of labour unions announced general strikes for January 19 unless the Overtime Bill is withdrawn.

Népszava’s Róbert Friss thinks that anti-government protests are gaining momentum. The left-wing commentator believes that more and more Hungarians realize the need for a broad anti-government cooperation to defeat the Orbán government. Friss welcomes the union’s announcement of general strikes. He, however, thinks that the government is unlikely to back off and withdraw the ‘slave law’ or hike minimal wages as demanded by some of the unions. Friss suspects that the conflict between the demonstrators and the government will escalate, and, as a result, more and more Hungarians will openly declare that they have had enough of Viktor Orbán’s ‘Hungarian swamp’.

In Magyar Idők, László Petrin accuses the opposition of using undemocratic means to get into power. The pro-government commentator contends that the opposition’s ‘threats of physical violence’ is an indication that the opposition has no credible political vision, but united only by their hatred of Prime Minister Orbán. As the opposition is determined to provoke violence, the government has no choice but to defeat what Petrin calls as ‘destructive and deviant liberalism’ in the media, culture, education and science to restore ‘normality’.




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