BUDAPEST, Hungary – Thousands of firefighters, teachers and other public employees are rallying outside Hungary's parliament to protest the government's austerity measures.
Some 30 trade unions are taking part in Saturday's rally despite the cold and rain, demanding that state authorities respect earlier deals that guaranteed wage levels.
Some firefighters are carrying a coffin symbolizing the demise of their trust in the law, which they say was changed to enable the cutbacks.
In an effort to reduce the state budget deficit, the government plans to temporarily suspend or limit wage bonuses and pensions, among other steps.
Hungary has had the largest budget gap in the European Union in the past few years, increasing its exposure to the current global financial crisis.