Hungarians Target State Broadcaster as Anti-Orban Protests Grow

(Bloomberg) -- Anti-government protesters demonstrated in Hungary for the fifth time in less than a week, extending a string of rallies against Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.

People gathered outside the headquarters of state television in Budapest Monday, where the public broadcaster rejected a demand by opposition lawmakers to read a petition on air a day earlier. The Index.hu website estimated more than 1,000 had arrived, with more joining. The protests have become more tense, with security officers using tear gas each evening. Police said they would ensure public safety during the event.

Hungarians Target State Broadcaster as Anti-Orban Protests Grow

The rallies have grown from an initial rejection of legislation allowing longer overtime to a call to undo parts of Orban’s creation of a self-styled "illiberal democracy," including public media and a judiciary that’s free of government influence. They have also united the nation’s fragmented opposition.

Hungarians Target State Broadcaster as Anti-Orban Protests Grow

Still, it’s uncertain whether the protests will succeed in pushing Orban into any changes. His ruling party enjoys a constitutional majority in parliament, which he has used to amass more power than any of his predecessors. Those steps are at the center of a European Union probe into the erosion of democratic values in Hungary.

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