There is a big issue in Hungary. When we say big, we mean huge! Thousands upon thousands of people have marched on Hungary’s economy ministry over the plans to impose a tax on people’s Internet use.
The massive crowd held up smartphone torches outside the building in Budapest and in doing so were echoing the recent democracy protests in Hong Kong. The crowd in Hungary were chanting and waving signs. The march’s organiser, Balazs Gulyas told the crowd: “There will be no internet tax. We will block it…If the tax is not scrapped within 48 hours, we will be back again.” The members of the crowd outside the economy ministry held aloft banners with messages including: “Free Wifi! Free Internet! Free Hungary!”
The Economy minister, Mihaly Varga, had announced last week the tax of 150 forints approximately 38 pence, for every gigabyte of Internet traffic that is handled by Internet service providers.
The announcement was met by outrage online, with some petitions gathering thousands of people’s signatures. There are some critics of the Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, saying this is part of an anti-democratic effort. Orban, 51, was recently re-elected with a second successive two-thirds majority in April of this year.
The sea of people chanted, “Orban get lost!” as they protested down the main thoroughfare of the capital after the rally had taken place. The Prime Minister has apparently been under pressure recently after the United States issued entry bans on numerous government officials over suspected corruption.
[Image via news.vice]