Hungary protests spill into fifth day

Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside Hungary’s state broadcaster on Monday night in a fifth day of protests against Viktor Orban, the prime minister.

The protests were sparked by new laws that allow up to 400 hours of unpaid overtime, and delay payment of overtime for up to three years. 

Demonstrators are also demanding less police overtime, an end to state corruption, an independent judiciary and a neutral state media. 

The government has defended the law, saying it will ease the shortage of workers, particularly in automotive and manufacturing industries. 

Demonstrators chanted, "we won’t leave" and "they are lying day and night." 

A group of Hungarian politicians refused to leave the state broadcaster’s building overnight on Sunday after their request for a live broadcast was denied, before vacating the building on Monday evening. 

Two opposition politicians were filmed being forcibly removed from the building after they attempted to get past security staff. 

Agnes Vadai of the Democratic Coalition, a center-left party, told The Associated Press that she had been manhandled by security guards: "This is nonsense," she said of the lack of help from police officers.

"It’s their obligation to protect all Hungarian citizens, regardless of their position."

Péter Niedermüller MEP was among the politicians who occupied the state broadcasters’ building. He told The Daily Telegraph: “The opposition has no possibility to talk about different views, proposals, especially in the Hungarian parliament. 

“The reason we took this whole fight into a demonstration is because we do not have any other means. 

"We would like to put pressure on the government. The government must understand that there is no democracy without talking with the opposition.”

He added that the protests so far had been “very, very peaceful” and that there was “a long timetable of demonstrations” over coming months.

A further demonstration is planned for Friday at 5pm local time, with opposition members predicting around 30,000 protesters will attend.

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