Tens of thousands of Hungarians, including teachers and students, have once more staged a protest rally against the government’s economic policy, demanding higher wages and a curb on soaring inflation.
According to Press TV, protesters marched through the capital city of Budapest on Sunday, chanting slogans against Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.
It was the largest demonstration since the 2014 march in the city against a short-lived Internet tax.
“I am here…for my children, there should be change,” said Gyongyi Bereczky, a mail carrier, who joined the protests for the first time. “This runaway inflation… we cannot save up at all anymore, simply we cannot make ends meet as prices are soaring.”
Since the start of the school year, teachers and high school students have staged several demonstrations in Budapest and cities nationwide, backing teachers dismissed for taking part in earlier protests.
“Everyone in my school is exhausted at having to fight for basics like enough teachers and equipment,” said 17-year-old student Anett Bodi at the demonstration.
“We totally back our teachers in their struggle for their rights,” she told AFP.
Organizers of the march pledged to keep up the pressure on the government in the coming weeks.
Although the government acknowledges that pay is too low, it has linked a planned pay raise to long-awaited EU funding.
Orban’s government says raising teacher wages depends on gaining access to billions of euros in European Union funds, which are currently blocked by Brussels over Budapest’s sub-standard government.
The EU accuses Orbans’ government of corruption, demanding it improves its transparency. Brussels also complains that democratic standards in Budapest declined during the 12-year rule of the far-right premier, Orban.