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Hungarian govt won’t amend labor rules causing protests

December 19, 2018

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Hungarian government is not planning to change revised rules on overtime work and other labor code amendments that led to days of protests.

Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs on Wednesday described the demonstrations that started a week ago as “political.” He said they were organized by groups he claimed are backed by Hungarian-American financier George Soros.

Lawmakers approved the amendments on Dec. 12, but President Janos Ader hasn’t signed them into law. They would increase the number of overtime hours employers could ask workers to put in voluntarily, essentially bringing back a six-day work week, and allow overtime payments to remain unpaid for up to three years.

Opposition lawmakers have protested at state TV headquarters. On Monday, security guards assaulted three of them. The lawmakers say Hungary is closer to a dictatorship than a democracy now.

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