Commenting on the protests that took place in Hungary at the end of 2018, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said that in a country of ten million it was “easy to radicalise a few thousand people” and make them hate the government. The opposition’s policies are targeted at a “hard core” of dissatisfied voters and the possibility of winning majority support was out of reach, he said. It is possible that the protest will continue through January and February and will not end before May’s European Parliamentary elections, but they will not attract mass support, Gulyás insisted.
Referring to recent amendments to the labour code regarding overtime, he said that contrary to the claims of protesters, Hungary does not have a “slave law” and so there is nothing that needs to be amended. Overtime regulations will apply on a voluntary basis and “it is simply silly” to talk about “enslavement”, so the law was only an excuse to protest, he said.