Thousands march to presidential palace in Hungary in fresh protests against new ‘slave law’ that nearly doubles how much overtime employees can work
- Protests organised by the satirical MKKP political party marched on the presidential palace in Budapest
- March was against new ‘slave law’, which allows employers to ask staff to work 400 hours overtime a year
- MKKP launched 10 years ago as way to poke fun at politics in Hungary, but has become a semi-serious force
Thousands of Hungarians have marched against controversial labour reforms backed by prime minister Viktor Orban.
Protesters led by the satirical political party MKKP marched on the presidential palace in Budapest last night against a new ‘slave law’, which allows employers to ask staff to work up to 400 hours per year of overtime.
Another part of the legislation, backed by Orban’s Fidesz party, would set new courts which critics could be politically manipulated.
Thousands of Hungarians carrying their country’s national flag marched through Budapest in protest of new sweeping labour reforms which have been backed by prime minister Viktor Orban
Dozens held placards denouncing the new legislation proposed by the ruling party. The Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP) protest started outside parliament where one protester was seen holding a placard which read ‘Happy boss, gloomy Sunday’
Policemen stand on guard around the presidental palace of Buda Castle as participants arrive during a demonstration
The Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP) protest started outside parliament where one protester was seen holding a placard which read ‘Happy boss, gloomy Sunday’.
MKKP launched more than a decade ago a way to poke fun at politics in Hungary, but it has now become a semi-serious force, using irony to tackle the most pressing situations in the central European nation.
University Almos Edes, 26, who was holding a sign which read ‘We promise everything’ beneath a logo of Fidesz, said: ‘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.’
Flares were lit along the route as Hungarians made their feelings known about the new legislation. It will allow employers to ask workers to carry out 400 hours of overtime every year
Demonstrators hold up flares during a protest against a proposed new labour law, billed as the ‘slave law’, at the Presidential Palace in Budapest
Edes was sceptical of any change being triggered by the rallies, but said he had joined to make his voice heard.
The rally last night also took aim at regulations which have led to the depature 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.
A demonstrator with a Guy Fawkes mask stands during a protest against a proposed new labour law
Supporters of the oppositional satirical Hungarian ‘Two-tailed Dog Party’ carry placards and banners as they march during their demonstration called ‘National All-Christmas Peace March’ in the streets of Budapest