Demonstrators in Budapest yesterday protested against a plan to introduce a tax on Internet use, staging the first mass rally since Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban won three elections this year.
Tens of thousands of people turned up on the square in front of the Economy Ministry building in central Budapest, urging he cabinet to scrap the plan and called another rally for Oct. 28 unless it does.
Demonstrators held their mobile phones aloft outside the economy ministry and hurled old computer parts at the gates of the ruling Fidesz party.
Campaigners say the legislation is “anti-democratic” and will hit the poor.
Rally organisers said the move “follows a wave of alarming anti-democratic measures by Orban that is pushing Hungary even further adrift from Europe”.
More than 100,000 people have since joined a Facebook group against the levy, which many fear will be passed on to consumers.
The draft law, proposed by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, would levy a fee of 150 forints (£0.40; €0.50; $0.60) per gigabyte of data traffic. Ministers have promised to place a cap on the tax.
Economy minister Mihaly Varga has defended the plans, saying communications technology has changed the way people use telecom services and therefore the tax code needed to be changed.
Annual revenue of 20bn forints (£50m) is expected to be generated by the measure if passed, he said.
View this video from Euronews covering the proposed tax below:
Hungarian internet tax proposal angers net… by euronews-en