Students protest across Budapest to support teachers' strike

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Hungarian students form human chain in support of their teachers fighting for better working conditions

Thousands of elementary and high school students formed miles-long human chains with parents in Budapest on Wednesday and Thursday in support of their teachers fighting for higher wages and better working conditions. Protesters have also raised their voices against teachers sacked for protesting.

Last week several teachers were fired from a Budapest high school for joining the protest. The move comes after the government restricted strike action at the beginning of the year.

Viktor Orban's right-wing government said it would improve wages for teachers once the European Commission releases recovery funding to Hungary. The EU recovery funds are currently being held up over rule of law concerns in Hungary.

Investigative outlet reveals how Pegasus spyware was brought to Hungary

Special Service for National Security (SSNS) did not purchase Pegasus spyware directly from its manufacturer, NSO Group, but through a Hungarian intermediary company, Communication Technologies Ltd. The seller was a Luxembourg-registered company of NSO - a Hungarian investigative media outlet Direkt 36 reports.

The owners of the Hungarian company include László Tasnádi, a confidant of Interior Minister Sándor Pintér, and other individuals linked to the intelligence services and the interior minister. According to the report, SSNS first obtained a quota for 50 potential target devices at a time, but later it was increased by a few dozen more. Communication Technologies Ltd has recently won several other state contracts, generating annual revenues of two to three billion dollars.

The article also revealed that very few people could have known that Hungary possessed the ability to hack mobile phones fully, and the name of the spyware.

According to the investigative report, Pegasus has been used again since 2021.

Fidesz votes against the ratification of Finland's and Sweden's NATO accession

Hungary's right-wing governing party voted down a motion submitted by the opposition party MSZP that would have set 4 October as the date for the parliamentary vote on the NATO membership of Finland and Sweden, according to opposition MP Bertalan Tóth.

Apart from Hungary, Turkey is the only NATO member country that has not yet ratified the two nordic country's accession to NATO. 

Hungarian Parliament passes anti-corruption law to unlock EU funds

Hungary's parliament passed anti-graft laws on Monday to avoid the loss of EU funds. The ruling Fidesz party passed an amendment to the criminal code with 136 yes and 7 no votes. 

The first of the two amendments allows for complaints to be filed in court that can open corruption investigations. The second requires a period of public consultation before adopting a law.

The new law is one of the 17 commitments Hungary's government made to the European Commission to avoid suspensions of EU funds over rule of law concerns.