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Hungary: Climbdown from Orban as Internet Tax is shelved

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Hungary: Climbdown from Orban as Internet Tax is shelved


Hungarians have forced a climb down from their government over a planned Internet tax
which sparked mass protests in Budapest and elsewhere in the country.

It would have levied a fee on each gigabyte of online data transferred.

Opponents denounced an attack on freedom.

The EU warned the tax would be a mistake.

Even for the usually combative prime minister enough was enough.

But as he conceded the bill must be withdrawn, Viktor Orban told Hungarian radio that a national consultation on the Internet would be launched in January.

The centre-right premier, accused of being an autocrat by liberal Hungarians, still wants to explore financial questions surrounding the Internet.

Our correspondent in Budapest, Andrea Hajagos, says that while demonstrators are holding a celebratory rally later, organisers are vowing to continue their campaign until the online tax is withdrawn permanently.

“Because from the words used by Victor Orban, it is not clear whether this is a permanent decision or whether the government will find another way to get tax from Internet use,” she said.

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