Labour laws spark protest in Hungary

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Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 18/12/2018
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Summary: 

On 12 December 2018 the Hungarian Parliament passed a set of controversial laws that sparked multiple protests in Budapest. The new labour laws, passed by the ruling coalition, changed the maximum annual overtime hours that employers can demand from 250-400 and expanded the time period for calculating overtime payments to three years. The ruling coalition also voted to create a new administrative court that is overseen by the Justice minister.

The Government argued to be acting in the name of the people, as the new labour laws benefit those who want to work more hours and employers who need more workers.

Further information:

Trade unions and opposition parties have demanded the dismissal of the new labour laws. Consequently, multiple protests erupted in Budapest following the approval of the new laws. On Sunday 16 December 2018, 150,000 protested against the right-wing government. The protesters demanded the withdrawal of a new labour law, for independent public media and courts and for Hungary to join the European Union’s prosecutors office.

Opposition members tried to read out their petition on the state TV, but they were blocked by security staff.

Earlier reforms, made by the right-wing government since its re-election 2018, triggered Article 7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

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Commentary and Analysis
Bloomberg, 12.12.18: Orban Tightens Grip Over Hungarian Courts After Chaotic Vote https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-12/orban-pushes-hungary-to-point-of-no-return-as-europe-grumbles
The New York Times, 12.12.18: Hungary Creates New Court System, Cementing Leader’s Control of Judiciary https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/world/europe/hungary-courts.html
Euro|topics, December 2018: Protests against Hungary's "slave law" https://www.eurotopics.net/en/211639/protests-against-hungary-s-slave-law?zitat=211566#zitat211566
Euro|topics, December 2018: Are the protests in Hungary a threat to Orbán? https://www.eurotopics.net/en/211639/are-the-protests-in-hungary-a-threat-to-orban
EurActiv, 19.12.18: Hungary protests spark opposition coalition – but will it last? https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-elections-2019/news/hungary-protests-spark-opposition-coalition-but-will-it-last/
Euronews, 18.12.18: Why are people protesting in Hungary? | Euronews explains https://www.euronews.com/2018/12/18/why-are-people-protesting-in-hungary-euronews-explains

News
EurActiv, 13.12.18: Chaos as Hungarian MPs pass ‘slave law’ and government-controlled court https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/news/chaos-as-hungarian-mps-pass-slave-law-and-government-controlled-court/
EurActiv,14.12.18: Tweets of the Week: Strasbourg attack, democracy challenged in Hungary, and Theresa May https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/video/strasbourg-attack-democracy-challenged-in-hungary-and-theresa-may/
Deutsche Welle, 17.12.18: Hungary: 15,000 take to streets in 4th day of protests https://www.dw.com/en/hungary-15000-take-to-streets-in-4th-day-of-protests/a-46766318
France24, 17.12.18: Thousands protest Orban government 'slave law' in Budapest https://www.france24.com/en/20181217-hungary-thousands-protest-viktor-orban-government-slave-law-budapest-labour-reform
Reuters, 16.12.18: 'All I want for Christmas is democracy,' say Hungary protesters https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-hungary-protest/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-democracy-say-hungary-protesters-idUKKBN1OF0N0
Reuters, 13.12.18: Hungarian protests intensify as Orban heads to Brussels https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-hungary-protest/hungarian-protests-intensify-as-orban-heads-to-brussels-idUKKBN1OC2OO
EUObserver, 14.12.18: Protests erupt in Hungary over labour laws https://euobserver.com/tickers/143711
BBC News, 13.12.18: Hungary 'slave labour' law sparks protest on parliament steps https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46551904
Reuters, 17.12.18: Opposition lawmakers ejected from Hungary state TV after protest https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hungary-protest/opposition-lawmakers-ejected-from-hungary-state-tv-after-protest-idUSKBN1OG0RE
BBC News, 17.12.18: Hungary 'slave law' protesters target state broadcaster https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46600035
EurActiv, 18.12.18: Opposition MPs ejected from Hungary state TV after protest https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/news/opposition-mps-ejected-from-hungary-state-tv-after-protest/
EUObserver, 18.12.18: Orban protests target state media in new front https://euobserver.com/political/143744
Euronews, 17.12.18: Hungarian protesters and opposition MPs rally at state TV building https://www.euronews.com/2018/12/17/hungarian-protesters-and-opposition-mps-rally-at-state-tv-building
Euronews, 17.12.18: Winter of discontent? Protests spread to Brussels and Budapest | Raw Politics https://www.euronews.com/2018/12/17/winter-of-discontent-protests-spread-to-brussels-and-budapest-raw-politics
France24, 18.12.18: Hungary state TV hit as 'slave' labour law protests continue https://www.france24.com/en/20181218-hungary-state-tv-hit-slave-labour-law-protests-continue-orban

ESO Records
Hungary insists on legislative proposal that could shut down the Central European University https://www.europeansources.info/record/hungary-insists-on-legislative-proposal-that-could-shut-down-the-central-european-university/
Law in Hungary criminalises sleeping rough in public places https://www.europeansources.info/record/law-in-hungary-criminalises-sleeping-rough-in-public-places/

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