Orbán: Protesting teachers not acting alone

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told his fellow party members yesterday that the teacher demonstrations planned for tomorrow were instigated by outside political forces who were stirring up trouble, the online version of the daily Népszabadság reported.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaks at a press conference in Miskolc yesterday, as Miskolc Mayor Ákos Kriza, a fellow Fidesz member, listens. Orbán was in Lillafüred, just outside of Miskolc, for a summit of the ruling Fidesz party and their coalition partners, the Christian Democrats. (Photo: MTI/János Vajda)

Speaking in Lillafüred, at a closed-door meeting of the ruling coalition parties, Fidesz and the Christian Democrats, Orbán reportedly said it is not realistic that teachers rebelling against the public education system would be acting on their own accord; it is more likely that some external forces are guiding these protests. 

Orbán said there was “no concrete problem” that would have made it realistic that someone like Ottó Pilz, an official of the public employee council of the Ottó Hermann Secondary School, where protests broke out, would “wake up one morning realizing he wanted to protest”, Népszabadság reported. Orbán reportedly added that the government will not break down and the new state secretary, László Palkovics, will be able to control the protests.

Orbán also promised lawmakers at the meeting that the Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Center (KLIK), which administers the education system in Hungary, would be substantively reformed, nol.hu wrote. Cabinet Chief János Lázár said at his weekly press conference on Thursday that teachers should sit down to talks instead of “creating havoc”.

Teachers have said that there biggest problem is with the centralized administration of schools, which is handled by KLIK. They say they will continue with demonstrations, and possibly strike, until their demands are met.

Teachers are planning demonstrations all around Hungary, including one outside the Parliament building, tomorrow.

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