Hungarians have held a “picnic protest” in the capital Budapest.
A few hundred sat outside the country’s parliament on Monday (May 29) to object to the government’s proposed law to reform NGO’s funded by foreign organisations. The protesters say the NGOs perform a vital social service for the disadvantaged .
“I think that Hungary is fascist and we have to put an end to it. I believe this is the most peaceful way to do that, which I fully support,” said one protester.Dóra Papp – manager of Krétakör Foundation and one of the organisers claimed the new law was a threat to democracy:
“The stigmatizing of these organizations, and not only the stigmatizing but also the listing of these organizations shows a future vision of this country that is leading to a serious and deepening democratic crisis.”
Critics say the government is trying to discredit the independent civil groups and the law will lead to their closure. A parliamentary vote is scheduled for June 13 which the government hopes will lead to greater transparency in the running of the NGOsReporting for euronews, Andrea Hajagos said:
“The Council of Europe has urged Hungary to suspend the parliamentary debate on the amendment of the law one month ago, but since then nothing has happened, and in fact if the bill is passed the assembly won’t be able to exert further influence.”