Protesters threw smoke grenades at police who responded with tear gas in Budapest on Sunday as thousands of people rallied against a new “slave law” passed by the government of conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
More than 15,000 people, according to local press reports, joined the demonstration — the first rally since Orban returned to power in 2010 to bring together all opposition parties, from greens to the far right, under the same banner.
The protest was called by unions and opposition parties outraged at reforms that hike the annual overtime hours that employers can demand from 250 to 400 hours and allows payment to be delayed by up to three years.
The government says the changes are needed by employers short of manpower and will benefit those wanting to work extra hours.
Sunday’s protest ended up at Parliament Square, where protesters chanting “Orban get lost!” have been gathering since the law was adopted on Wednesday.
Protesters led by two opposition lawmakers later marched to Hungary’s public television headquarters to read a petition but were refused access.
Protesters then hurled missiles and smoke grenades prompting police to respond with tear gas, as they have done in previous days.
“They don’t negotiate with anyone. They just do whatever they want. They steal everything. It’s intolerable. It cannot go on,” said one protester, Zoli, a transport worker.
Protests in the past week have been the most violent in Hungary for over a decade with dozens arrested and at least 14 police injured.
Other reforms passed by parliament, which is dominated by Orban’s ruling party, include a bill paving the way for new “administrative courts” to oversee public administration cases.
The justice minister Laszlo Trocsanyi, a close Orban ally, would oversee the courts, leading some to warn the premier could have near-total political influence over the judicial system.
Anger over the legislation has prompted opposition parties across the spectrum, who accuse Orban and his ruling Fidesz party of steering Hungary toward authoritarianism, to join forces.
Pro-government public and commercial media have portrayed the protesters as anarchists and “mercenaries of George Soros”.
The Hungarian-born US billionaire Soros has long been accused by Orban of plotting to destabilise Hungary.
John Oliver perfectly explains the Mueller report in a way all Americans can understand
The overwhelming majority of Americans have not read the 400-plus-page report from special counsel Robert Mueller. As it stands, it's unclear how many elected officials have either. It's become a problem for Democrats, who would like to impeach the president but can't get the American people to pay attention long enough.
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver has a solution. In his Sunday show, Oliver outlined a vital piece of the report that outlined just one of many obstructions of justice at the hand of President Donald Trump.
After he outlined what impeachment is, he showed Trump talking about the law that claims it's for "high crimes and misdemeanors." According to Trump, he has to be accused of both because it says "and." An annoyed Oliver corrected the president's incorrect assessment.
John Oliver unleashes epic supercut of Fox News host who can’t stop bragging about learning German in high school
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade took German as his foreign language in high school. If you didn't know that, then you likely don't watch Fox News, because the host has made a claim several dozen times.
HBO host John Oliver spent a few moments out of his Sunday episode of "Last Week Tonight" to mock Kilmeade for his desire to remind people of his three years of classes frequently.
Kilmeade has talked about it so many times that his co-hosts began preempting his comment every time the country of Germany is mentioned, or the German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears on the screen.
Watch the hilarious mockery below:
Trump thinks he can create his own healthcare law that will take the issue off the table for Democrats
One of the significant issues Republicans lost on in 2018 was their nearly decade-long crusade to unmake the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
This week Trump will announce that he's running for president again, and he promises a surprise announcement while there. While it's unclear what he intends for the surprise, one thing he is talking about is a better healthcare law than the Democratic one.
According to The New York Times, Trump is "vowing to issue the plan within a month or two, reviving a campaign promise with broad consequences for next year’s contest."