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Protest on teachers’ day

October 7th, 2022

Commenting on the unusually large crowd demonstrating in Budapest on Wednesday in support of teachers on strike, opposition-leaning commentators lambast the government for not heeding teachers’ demands for better pay and conditions.

At least 10 thousand people formed a 6 km long human chain in Budapest on Wednesday morning. In the evening, many more held a demonstration in solidarity with striking teachers and the small number already fired for participating in a one-day wild strike. State Secretary Bence Rétvári told Parliament that teachers deserve higher wages, but criticised opposition politicians who ‘tried to capitalise’ on the World Teachers’ Day protest.

In Népszava, Dániel Juhász acknowledges that most teachers stayed away from Wednesday’s strike, but adds that they may well have been intimidated by the example of colleagues who have lost their jobs over the past few days. He calls government politicians who condemn protesting teachers ‘parasites’ whose performance is way beneath that of the teachers they criticise.

On the Magyar Hang website, István Dévényi thinks that the government has underestimated the depth of discontent throughout the country and must have been surprised by the massive turnout at Wednesday’s demonstrations. At the same time, he concedes that the government simply doesn’t have the money to significantly raise teachers’ salaries under the current critical conditions, caused by the soaring energy prices and the resulting increase in the public deficit.


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