February 4th, 2013

Hunger Marchers depart from Miskolc to join nationwide anti-poverty protest

An anti-poverty campaign march left the north-eastern city of Miskolc on Monday, joining other similar demonstrations organized earlier in the impoverished regions of the country.

About 50 people took off in snow and temperatures near zero to cover the 200-kilometre distance to Budapest on foot.

The protests are organised by the pay pressure group “Work! Bread! Fair Pay!” and they are intended to join up protesters from all around the country in front of parliament on Feb. 11, the first day of the spring legislative session.

Imre Komjathi, chairman of the group, said protesters demanded that the government restore the minimum pay for public works to 60,200 forints (EUR 202) a month and that it should be paid monthly, not weekly. They are also pushing for more access to public works for families in need.

Nandor Gur, deputy leader of the opposition Socialist party, set off on the walk with the protesters. He told MTI there were more than 4 million Hungarians living below the poverty line, including many children and the government had failed to deliver on its promises of job creation.

Komjathi said there were eight marches under way in the country and another four are being organised to result in a mass demonstration of thousands in February.

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