More than 2,000 Hungarians marched through central Budapest on Tuesday evening in protest at government plans which amount to eliminating private pension schemes.
Around 60,000 people who either can’t or don’t want to move to a state system could lose up to 70 percent of their funds under a proposed new law due to come into force on January 1.
Zoltán Vajda who was the protest organiser expressed his anger at the government:
“This is private ownership. The money I have in the private pension fund is mine, not somebody else’s but mine, or if I die it is for my children or my wife. If the government feels that the private pension system is not working well, they can start a discussion about it.”
The government claims new regulations to oblige everyone to move to the state system will ensure nobody is left without a pension, but critics say the move is really thinly disguised theft in a bid to reduce the public deficit.
Reporting from Budapest for euronews, Andrea Hajagos said:
“According to analysts if parliament accepts this bill in December as it is written right now, then very soon all the private pension companies will have to close down.”