At a press conference in Budapest on Saturday, Chairman of the Socialists Bertalan Tóth said, that the government took away fringe benefits from the employees and then abolished state subsidies for housing related savings. By amending the Labor Code, the "slave law," is aimed at obliging people to work 400 overtime hours a year in a way that "after three years they may actually receive their pay," he added. These measures made it clear that the right-wing, "almost far-right-wing" government hates workers, he said.
The politician called upon the cabinet to withdraw these measures. “If they shall not, then for everything that is to come Viktor Orbán and the government shall be responsible," he said.
Speaking of the demonstrations, he said that people had opened their eyes, and the Hungarian opposition was acting in unity. The opposition had agreed during the week that all their activities shall be coordinated and jointly carried out, "it can be said that an obstruction committee has been established", the politician said. He added that they do not agree with any form of violence, so neither in Parliament, nor the outside would they engage in acts of violence. This, however, does not mean that we will keep all "single-party rules," he emphasized.
Ágnes Kunhalmi also attended the press conference, announcing that MSZP’s Board rejected the "slave law" that the Socialists believed Parliament had adopted unlawfully. The politician also rejects that Laszlo Kövér, speaker of the House, described the opposition's parliamentary action as a coup attempt. The opposition tried to live with its rights, Fidesz violated procedural rules and laws - said the chair of MSZP’s Board.
The MP continued by condemning the retaliations outlined for opposition representatives, and also the fact that the State Audit Office attempts to hinder the operation of Momentum and Párbeszéd (Dialogue) referring to made up interests.
The opposition has been excluded from parliamentary democracy, so there is no other way than to use all forms of resistance, Ágnes Kunhalmi said. The tear gas will unite the opposition, opposition voters and everyone who wants to live in democracy, she said.
When asked whether protests would be suspended in the coming the Christmas period, Bertalan Tóth reiterated that they were jointly deciding on all issues. Christmas is a holiday of families, but they could not let Fidesz abuse this opportunity to "put an end to resistance," so this year already they shall announce what their plans are as of January, he said.
“The appropriate reaction to the behavior of demonstrators is certainly not two policemen choking a protester in a van, neither is using gas spray without warning, nor that families cannot get information for 30-40 hours on what is happening to their children,” Tóth elaborated replying to another question.
Ágnes Kunhalmi was faced with the fact that in 2015 she wrote on Facebook that "we will open the stores on Sundays as well, because those who want shop also have the right to work whenever they want!" Bertalan Tóth responded to the question, saying that the Sunday opening did not mean that people were to work overtime; rather they could work on Sunday as part of their weekly schedule. "Hungarian oligarchs," the economic circle behind Fidesz acquired interests in seasonal sectors, such as agriculture, construction or hotel industry from "stolen public money," he continued. This is about Fidesz wanting to build its own economic power making employees "work as slaves," he concluded.