Former joint opposition prime minister candidate and leader of the Everybody’s Hungary Movement called those to Budapest who are unsatisfied with the government’s latest decisions about the KATA tax and the utility price caps. Thousands gathered by 7 pm at Budapest’s Margaret Bridge.
The government announced earlier this week that the utility price cap scheme would be limited to average consumption levels from 1 August. Those who consume more energy than the average will have to pay the market price. Average monthly electricity consumption in Hungary is 210 kWh, while an average household consumes 144 cubic meters of gas a month, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said on Wednesday.
Furthermore, the government modified the small business tax, KATA. As a result, hundreds of thousands will not be able to remain in the scheme and lose their livelihood. The desperate protestors regard the decision as a slap in the face.
Therefore, Péter Márki-Zay, the joint opposition’s former prime minister candidate, and his Everybody’s Hungary Movement organised a demonstration in Budapest downtown. The protest ran under the name of “Protest against Fidesz” on Facebook. The slogan was “Wake up, Hungary!”, referring to Fidesz’s 2006 demonstrations against the Gyurcsány-lead Socialist cabinet. The group said on Facebook that the demonstration was on behalf of “victims of the [Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán system”, and they represented the interests of small business taxpayers, teachers, police, health-care workers and pensioners.
Róbert Molnár, the mayor of Kübekháza, said that only those could receive government allocations who bent their knees to Orbán. He refused to do so. As a result, his settlement received nothing from the government – blikk.hu reported.
Socialist MP Zoltán Vajda said that next year’s budget unrealistically pegged inflation at 5.2 percent when it was currently 12 percent, and he accused the government of planning “drunken austerity” this year and next, MTI reported.
Péter Márki-Zay said that Viktor Orbán lied during the election campaign. He highlighted that Hungary should join the European Union prosecutor’s office. As a result, Hungary would receive EU money again, and the government would not have to introduce tax increases and austerity measures. However, Orbán chose corruption and secured his money, instead of protecting the country’s citizens, MZP said.
Referring to the infamous speech given by Ferenc Gyurcsány, a former Socialist prime minister, in which Gyurcsány admitted to lying about the state of the economy in the run up to a general election, Márki-Zay accused Orbán of doing the same.
Below you can check out some photos taken during the protest:
Márki-Zay added that Hungary should accept the global minimum tax and eliminate corruption schemes. Then there would be money for the tuition fee rise in education. Instead, soldiers and police officers will receive more money, he said. Finally, Márki-Zay concluded that he would like to continue demonstrating in the following weeks.
Afterwards, the protesters seized the Margaret Bridge and marched to the Nyugati Railway Station. Later they continued to the Deák Ferenc Square. The police have not interfered yet.
Here is a live video from Péter Márki-Zay’s Facebook page:
Featured image: photo taken on a Thursday protest in Budapest
Source: blikk.hu, DNH, MTI
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