Thousands of Hungarians demonstrated in Budapest against the government of Viktor Orban and his policies, which are alleged to reduce freedom in the country. Specifically, the possible closure of Central European University, a school founded by progressive financier, George Soros, has spared weeks of protest.
“Orban has long criticised civil society organisations funded by Hungarian-born Soros, accusing them of opposing his tough migration policies and supporting illegal migration. He says the Soros-founded Central European University (CEU) has violated Hungarian rules – an accusation the university rejects. His government also wants to tighten rules on non-governmental organisations,” reports Reuters.
“It is unbearable what is happening here, I would like to live in a democracy,” said Agnes Bojte, 40, who makes documentaries. “It is like the air is getting thinner and thinner in this country.”
“Media, civilians, students and Hungarian people cannot be silenced in their own country,” one of the speakers said, reported Reuters.
Prime Minister Orban focused the political unrest on the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2018 that will determine the direction of Hungary.
“In Hungary the national government is under continuous pressure and attacks so what is at stake at all elections is whether we will have a parliament and government serving the interests of Hungarian people or serving foreign interests,” he said.
“If we accepted that Brussels or other political or financial centres dictated … what should happen in our country we would not have conflicts,” he said in an interview. “But the history of Hungarians is that of a history of freedom fights.”
The EU and the US have criticized the new legislation targeting the university.