The opposition Socialists on Sunday called for reinstating teachers fired from their job, and asked the government to establish the conditions of free education and create a budget allocation for teacher wage hikes. In reaction to the termination of the employment of eight teachers in three secondary schools in Budapest as of Dec. 1 on the ground of dereliction of duty, party co-leader Ágnes Kunhalmi told an online press conference that some of the best teachers had been fired from the best secondary schools. The firing of teachers demonstrated that “the authoritarian regime built by [ruling] Fidesz in the past 13 years reached a new level” and “practically, steps are being taken towards a dictatorship”, she said. Fidesz wants to show that “anybody daring to express dissatisfaction with NER [System of National Cooperation] will fare ill”, she added. The interior ministry, which is in charge of public education, said on Wednesday that the teachers had taken unlawful strike action and participated in a demonstration. They had been previously informed by their employers, the school district directorate, that they would be relieved of their positions if they unlawfully neglected their teaching duties for any reason, the ministry said in a statement.