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The protest started at Jozsef Nador Square in Budapest’s 5th district and moved across the Danube to the Kilometre Zero sign in Buda.
Addressing the rally on the square, Zsolt Varady, a founder of Hungarian public media website iwiw, told protesters filling the square that by moving to the sign, they want to show the government how much tax they are willing to pay for internet use.
“The internet tax is a symbol of the government’s despotism,” he said and added that “we are many and our goals are clear, so we will be able to prevent the introduction of the internet tax.”
Student activist Karoly Fuzessy invited Prime Minister Viktor Orban for a public debate about the internet tax and added that if Orban cannot be convinced and a “national consultation” is not started, then protests will continue. He added that that protests were being held not only in Budapest but in other cities around the country and even in Warsaw.
Fuzessy said they would not let parliament pass the law on the internet tax and called on protesters to gather again on the day of the vote to prevent “the introduction of this unfair and unnecessary tax.”
Parliament is expected to vote on the bill on November 18.
After the speeches, the protesters marched through the city behind a platform truck. The crowd filled a 800-metre stretch of Kossuth Street and Karoly Boulevard in the city centre.
The demonstration ended at the Kilometre Zero sign at about 9pm but a part of the crowd marched to Parliament Square to continue the protest. The crowd demanded that an EU flag should be hoisted on the building. After a while, three Socialist lawmakers appeared in a window and hung two EU flags, hailed with applause.
The demonstrations held in Debrecen, Nyiregyhaza, Szeged, Miskolc, Gyor and Pecs have ended peacefully.