Church-run schools protest for additional funding

Budapest, Hungary - Several thousand people demonstrated in Budapest on Friday, protesting against insufficient government subsidies for church-run schools.

Gabor F. Hardy, head of the parents' organisation that staged the demo, told MTI that it was a shame that religious schools had to fight for their rights through protest marches. He said that the government's claim that ecclesiastical institutions of education actually received higher per capita subsidies than municipal ones was a mere "deception with the figures," and flatly denied allegations that the affected schools had forced their pupils to join the demonstration.

Hungary's four historic churches last week urged the government to ensure equal financing to church-run and state-run institutions in next year's budget bill, and said that cuts in the 2006 budget might result in the insolvency of educational and social institutions and public collections, thus endangering the operation of these organisations.