Protests in Hungary continue for fifth day amid growing anger over Orbán’s tax changes | Hungary

Thousands demonstrated in Budapest for a fifth day against Viktor Orbán’s government on Saturday as anger mounts over tax changes that critics say will hurt small businesses.

Hungarians have taken to the streets since parliament approved a law change on Tuesday that will affect hundreds of thousands of small business owners. The protests are the first since Orbán, the prime minister, won a fourth consecutive term in a landslide in April.

Several thousand people marched through downtown Budapest on Saturday chanting “Orbán, get lost”.

“It’s crazy what they [the government] did,” said one protester, 37-year-old lawyer Ilona Pusztai. “It will not lead to more revenue for the budget.”

Another protester, Zoltan Gemesi, a 68-year-old teacher, said: “The government is currently planning such austerity measures [but] people can no longer tolerate them.

Addressing the rally, Peter Marki-Zay, who led a united opposition but lost to Orbán in April, said the nationalist prime minister’s campaign promises had “turned out to be lies”.

In his usual radio address on Friday, Orbán defended the tax law change as “good and necessary.”

Despite price caps on basic necessities, the central European country is facing soaring inflation and a plummeting local currency amid talks with Brussels over stalled funding for the European Union. Hungarywhich depends largely on Russian oil and gas, declared a “state of danger” on Wednesday due to the energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine.

Among the measures to solve the problem is a stipulation that people who consume more than the average amount of energy will have to pay for it at the market price rather than at the state-subsidized rate.

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