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Friday, 31 October 2014

SOCIETY

Hungary internet tax cancelled after mass protests 

Hungary has decided to shelve a proposed tax on internet data traffic after mass protests against the plan.

"This tax in its current form cannot be introduced," Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.
Large-scale protests began on Sunday, when demonstrators hurled old computer parts at the headquarters of Mr Orban's ruling Fidesz party.
The draft law - condemned by the EU - would levy a fee on each gigabyte of internet data transferred.
The protesters objected to the financial burden but also feared the move would restrict free expression and access to information.
The levy was set at 150 forints (£0.40; 0.50 euros; $0.60) per gigabyte of data traffic.
After thousands protested the government decided to cap the tax at 700 forints per month for individuals and 5,000 forints for companies. But that did not placate the crowds.
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Viktor Orban does not often back down, but he has done so on this occasion for several reasons.
  • He saw how unpopular the tax was. He managed with one stroke to do something which opposition leaders had tried and failed to do for five years: unify his opponents
  • He took on the best-organised community in the country - internet users - and lost
  • The government's communication methods failed again - as they have with almost every major decision since Fidesz came to power
  • "We are not Communists. We don't go against the will of the people," he said - a sign that growing comparisons between Fidesz and the old Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party are hitting the mark.
What happens next? Mr Orban's decision to cancel the tax deprives his opponents of a valuable rallying cry. The big question for them will be whether they can use the momentum of two big rallies to create new forms of opposition to Fidesz.
They have proven that he can be defeated. Mr Orban has proven that he is more flexible than many analysts give him credit for.
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Crowd of protesters on Budapest's Elisabeth Bridge, 28 Oct 14  Thousands of protesters marched across Budapest's Elisabeth Bridge on Tuesday
'It should not be done' Fidesz had said the special tax was needed to balance Hungary's budget in 2015.
Speaking on Kossuth public radio, Mr Orban said that "if the people not only dislike something but also consider it unreasonable then it should not be done...
"The tax code should be modified. This must be withdrawn, and we do not have to deal with this now."
He said a measure seen by the government as a technical issue had become "a fear-inducing vision".
There will be a national consultation on it in January, he said.
A European Commission spokesman, Ryan Heath, said the tax was "bad in principle" because it was a unilateral measure applied to a global phenomenon.
He said it was "part of a pattern... of actions that have limited freedoms or sought to take rents without achieving wider economic or social interest" in Hungary.
The Commission has previously criticised Mr Orban's government for constitutional proposals seen to be cementing the Fidesz party's political dominance.

The BBC's Nick Thorpe in Budapest writes: 

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Editor's Mail

Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & interest..one day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
Johannesburg
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in e.news. So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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