The protests are the first since Orban won a consecutive fourth term by a landslide in April. Several thousand people marched through downtown Budapest on Saturday, chanting “Orban get lost”. “It’s crazy what they (the government) have done. This will not lead to more income for the budget,” one protester, 37-year-old lawyer Ilona Pusztai, told AFP.
“The government is currently planning such austerity measures (but) people cannot tolerate them anymore,” said another protester, Zoltan Gemesi, a 68-year-old teacher. Addressing the rally, Peter Marki-Zay, who headed a united opposition but lost against Orban in April, said the nationalist premier’s campaign promises had been “proven to be lies”.
In his regular radio address on Friday, Orban defended the tax law change as “good and necessary”. Despite price caps on essentials, the central European country faces soaring inflation and a plunging local currency amid talks with Brussels over held-up EU funding.
(The article is authored by AFP. Only the headline has been changed.)