Protests against the Hungarian government continued this weekend, with thousands of people demonstrating in Budapest and other major cities against the so called “slave law”, approved in December and which requires people to work up to 400 extra hours a year.
Union leaders have now called for a general strike on January 19.
“The government has abandoned us,” said the president of the Hungarian Trade Union Federation Laszlo Kordas. “The country must come to a halt at the same time on the same day.”
Unions are demanding the repeal of the “slave law,” higher wages, increased workers’ rights and a more flexible retirement system. They plan to present them to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and if the government refuses to negotiate, the unions will hold the strike.
“Hungary is under attack because it stands in the way of pro-immigration policies,” said government spokesperson Istvan Hollik, again claiming that Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros is funding the protests.
Mr Orbán has himself so far dismissed the wave of protests as “hysterical shouting.”