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Hungarian Opposition Lawmakers Vow New Protests


Hungary's 'Slave Law' Protests
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WATCH: Hungary's 'Slave Law' Protests

Opposition lawmakers in Hungary have vowed legal and parliamentary moves to try and thwart Prime Minister Viktor Orban as protests over a new labor law waned.

Around 200 people rallied outside the parliament building in Budapest on December 18, a fraction of the thousands that confronted police a night earlier outside the state broadcaster's headquarters.

The main focus of the protests has been a newly passed law that drastically changes state labor rules.

Opposition groups have called it a "slave law."

A day earlier, one opposition lawmaker was hospitalized after a clash with security guards, and three others said they had been roughed up.

"We're planning civil disobedience actions, road blocks with the trade unions, and further demonstrations," Timea Szabo, a lawmaker for a center-left party, told foreign reporters.

Orban's right-wing government won a third consecutive term in April's national election.

He has said the new labor rules are designed to ease an acute labor shortage and to enable workers to earn more.

The demonstrations that started after lawmakers approved the new labor laws have been boisterous, but largely peaceful.

Orban's allies have denounced the protests as the work of liberal groups financed by Hungarian-American financier George Soros, something Soros’s civil society organization has rejected.

Soros has been repeatedly targeted by Orban’s government.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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