Dispatches from Budapest

There was a massive demonstration in Budapest today.

Tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated Wednesday in the Hungarian capital to oppose government policies that are seen as limiting academic freedom and intimidating civic groups.

After the rally officially ended at Heroes Square, a Budapest landmark, some protesters faced off with police officers blocking access to the nearby headquarters of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party. There were small scuffles when some pushed up against police lines.

By nightfall, thousands of protesters were at Parliament, chanting anti-government slogans.

The Guardian has more:

A Hungarian law that threatens a leading university with closure is being investigated by the EU executive, as fears grow that Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is eroding democracy.

Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president of the European commission, said the new law had caused widespread concern and was perceived by many as an attempt to close down the Central European University, which was founded by the Hungarian-American financier and philanthropist George Soros after the fall of communism in Hungary.

Maybe they could replace the CEU with a local campus of Trump University.

The investigation into the university law opens up a new front between Brussels and the Orbán government, amid bitter disputes over migration quotas and EU concerns about the detention of refugees in barbed-wire-fringed camps on the Hungarian border.

Tens of thousands of people protested against the university plan on the streets of Budapest on Sunday, but this did not deter Hungary’s president, János Áder, from signing the measures into law the following day.

So much for populism then, eh?

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