“Slave Law” Sparks Outrage in Europe

Hungarian law incites protests in the capital city of Budapest:

As 2018 came to an end, the Hungarian Congress, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s rightwing Fidesz party, passed a new labor law that has upset many of Hungary’s citizens. According to the New York Times, “5,000 demonstrators took to the streets” in retaliation of the new law, which would allow employers to ask up to 400 hours of overtime from their employees each year while also being able to withhold compensation for up to three years.

The protests have drawn attention from the international community. As a member of the European Union, Hungary’s protests have drawn attention to the EU’s role in keeping the economics of their member states stable. Should the economy of Hungary begin to go down, it would certainly have an impact on the rest of the EU, which could be devastating given the current strains already on it from Brexit. However, not everyone sees the law as a bad thing.

Despite the pro-business front of the so-called “slave law,” it could be possible that Orban’s new law could prove to be economically successful.

Should Prime Minister Orban manage to keep the “slave-law” in effect, it could have a domino effect on Hungary’s neighbors. Countries such as Romania or Poland could be inspired by Orban’s law if he manages to stop the protesting and if Hungary’s economy were to benefit in the long run.

Members of the Guilford Community have expressed mixed reactions to Hungary’s law. Some believe that there should be more limits to overtime, whereas others have looked to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the United States. Under the FLSA there is no limit to the amount of overtime offered to employees, and some members of the Guilford Community took that up against the “slave-law” in Hungary.

“I don’t see any problem with actual limits,” junior Kane Mills said. “I don’t see it hurting us.”

Without a government check against Orban’s congress, the only means of expression Hungarians have is taking to the streets.

“We all know that the press has tremendous influence over their audience and to affect their views,” Gillian Sherman said. “So I think the press can turn this into a really positive thing or a really negative thing.”

Depending on how Hungary’s national press covers the law, it could sway either the enemies of the “slave-law” or could work against Orban and keep the protests going. As the conflict enters the new year, Hungarian citizens may rely on the press to keep their voices heard internationally.

Assuming that Hungarians continue to protest the law until it proves itself successful or is reworked by Congress, the national press will likely continue to cover the basics while waiting on proper data. In the meantime, however, there is no doubt that many countries are keeping an eye on Hungary, especially those in the EU or other neighboring states, who can use Hungary’s conclusion to work on their own economic changes. While the wait continues for a conclusion, however, it seems that Orban will continue to stand by his party’s law so long as he has enough support. In the meantime however, there is no doubt that many countries are keeping an eye on Hungary. This is especially applicable to those in the EU or other neighboring states who can use Hungary’s conclusion to work on their own economic changes. It seems that Orban will continue to stand by his party’s law so long as he has enough support.

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