Categories: world

Protests seize Hungary in response to overtime action as critics call a “slave team”: NPR

Protesters protesting against the latest legislative measures introduced by the government by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stand outside the parliament on December 1 6, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. Laszlo Balogh / Getty Images hide caption change caption Laszlo Balogh / Getty Images Protesters protesting against the latest legislative measures introduced by the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbáns government are outside parliament on 16 December 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. Laszlo Balogh / Getty Images Updated at 07:33 ET Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a sweetheart of Europe's right-hand right, has tightened his grip on power in ways that have shocked the EU. His ultra-national Fidesz party has played up the electoral system, closed down by most independent media, forced a US university and even created new administrative courts that will be directly controlled by the government. But none of these measures have generated the kind of outrage in Hungary that has hired a new law that allows employers to ask the staff to work up to 400 hours overtime per year. Employers can delay these overtime payments for up to three years. Critics call it "slavlag". Thousands have protested every night outside the parliament in Budapest since Fidesz legislators approved the measure on Wednesday. About 10,000 protesters marched to parliament on Sunday, waving Hungarian and European flags and holding handmade banners. You read: "Everything I want for xmas is democracy." A group of demonstrators were also demonstrated outside the state television headquarters. Media that is loyal to the government has…

Protesters protesting against the latest legislative measures introduced by the government by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stand outside the parliament on December 1

6, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary.

Laszlo Balogh / Getty Images

hide caption

change caption

Laszlo Balogh / Getty Images

Protesters protesting against the latest legislative measures introduced by the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbáns government are outside parliament on 16 December 2018 in Budapest, Hungary.

Laszlo Balogh / Getty Images

Updated at 07:33 ET

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a sweetheart of Europe’s right-hand right, has tightened his grip on power in ways that have shocked the EU.

His ultra-national Fidesz party has played up the electoral system, closed down by most independent media, forced a US university and even created new administrative courts that will be directly controlled by the government.

But none of these measures have generated the kind of outrage in Hungary that has hired a new law that allows employers to ask the staff to work up to 400 hours overtime per year. Employers can delay these overtime payments for up to three years.

Critics call it “slavlag”.

Thousands have protested every night outside the parliament in Budapest since Fidesz legislators approved the measure on Wednesday. About 10,000 protesters marched to parliament on Sunday, waving Hungarian and European flags and holding handmade banners. You read: “Everything I want for xmas is democracy.” A group of demonstrators were also demonstrated outside the state television headquarters. Media that is loyal to the government has largely ignored the protests.

“This is the first time I have seen signs of a united opposition building against Orbán,” says Gabor Gyori, senior analyst at the policy-based policy solution in Policy Solutions in Budapest. “He did something that has upset a large segment of the population, including his own followers.”

A new survey by the Republican Institute, a liberal think tank, shows that 63 percent of Orbans followers do not approve the new overtime law. More than 95 percent of his critics do not like either.

Workers’ leaders point out that the kids are already upset by low wages and poor working conditions. “And now to give employers, especially multinational companies who want even lower wages, so much more power over workers, it’s very unfair,” said Laszlo Kordas, Head of Hungarian Trade Union.

Just before the Riksdag voted for overtime law on December 12, Orbán told legislators that it will help remove “bureaucratic rules” for workers who want to spend several hours and “earn more”. The law allows employers to make individual agreements with workers, bypassing unions.

Hungary’s unemployment rate is low, about 3.7 percent, partly due to the relocation of skilled workers to other EU Member States such as Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom, where wages are higher. Other countries with a labor shortage often turn to immigrants, but Gyori says that Orbán has been so vitriotic about immigration that “he painted himself in a corner.”

“Our population is shrinking,” says Gyori. “This labor shortage is getting worse.”

Kordas says that Orbán and others in his party are unclear about working conditions for most kids, as most are “professional politicians who have never worked with real-world real-world jobs. They have no idea what real-working people have to go through . “

The protests have got steam partly because unions have joined forces with student activists at Central European University, leaving Hungary next year under pressure from Orbán, who has demonized its founder billionaire philanthropist George Soros, a survivor of the Holocaust and Hungarian born Jew. (Soros Open Society Foundations has contributed economically to NPR earlier.)

Orbán claims that Soros was behind a conspiracy to “flood” Europe with Muslim asylum seekers. The Prime Minister’s Allies also blame Soros for organizing protests against overtime. Gergely Gulyas, Orbans Chief of Staff, declared that the demonstrators show “open anti-Christian hatred”.

Viktor Mak, a 26-year-old Hungarian-American student at CEU, says the authorities claim that the protesters are dangerous.

“They send the police to tear us off and they claim we are the ones who are violent,” he says. “Everyone hates this team. Who wants to work overtime and not get paid for it for three years? “

A prime minister, János Sül, quoted on the Hungarian web page Pakspress.hu said that the young protesters” have never worked a day in their lives. “A spokesman for Gulyas, the prime minister’s head of department, said in an email to NPR that Orbans critics spread lies about the law and that” what overtime allowed by law can only be done with the volunteer’s consent. “

Kordas, the leader, rolls the eyes the comment. “It’s hard to argue when employers have all leverage over their workers,” he says.

Gyori, the analytical analyst, adds that it is also an anger that Orbans legislators ruled the law through parliament without hearing covenants or the political opposition. Fidesz changed the electoral rules so that the party controls two thirds of parliament, although it only received 49 percent of the popular vote last spring’s election.

As a result, opposition laws are almost powerless. They were lowered to blow whistles and sirens and sang the Hungarian genocide in an attempt to delay voting n on overtime vote last week. The action passed Hungary’s parliament with a vote of 130-52 with a ballot.

“The problem with Orbán is that he fears the uncertainty that accompanies democracy, so he strives to avoid unpopular decisions,” said Gyori. . “He will do anything to avoid that uncertainty.”

However, some dead Orbán supporters say that protests are even uncertain.

Kalman Molnar, a 93-year-old ophthalmologist, says he has never seen a Hungarian leader “as big as Viktor Orbán.” When the night fell, Molnar joined a big coat, pulled on his black bear and shook the protests “curiosity.”

“Although 100,000 of them turned out, it would not matter,” he said, over the crowd. “They will always be the minority.”

Freelance journalist Mate Halmos contributed to reporting from Budapest

Share
Published by
Faela