Demonstrators in Hungary celebrate internet tax victory

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Demonstrators in Hungary celebrate internet tax victory

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Demonstrators in Hungary’s capital Budapest were celebrating on Friday evening after the government backed down over a planned internet tax.

It had wanted to levy a fee on each gigabyte of online data transferred. Demonstrators feared the move would also restrict free expression and access to information.

Organisers say they will continue their campaign until the online tax is withdrawn permanently as they are not clear whether it is a permanent decision.

Protest organiser Balázs Gulyás told the crowds: “When on Sunday 10,000 and on Tuesday 100,000 of us demonstrated, we showed something important which is not only about the internet tax. It was about forcing a government to step back, a government that doesn’t like to listen to anybody.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orban is accused by many of becoming autocratic.

One woman at the demonstration said: “This is not only about the internet tax. At least I hope that many people think so. Although we don’t see any political alternatives, but many many people are fed up with the Orban-regime, that is for sure.”

Another man added: “Basically Orbán didn’t say anything that would motivate us not to come to the street and not to come in the following days, weeks, months and years until he and his government resigns.”

Protesters say they have won a victory but they intend to continue demonstrating about other issues including corruption.