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Hungary's Orban shelves Internet tax after demos

Protesters demonstrate outside the headquarters of governor of Hungary's FIDESZ party against the goverment's new Internet tax plan in Budapest on October 26, 2014Hungary’s prime minister on Friday shelved plans to introduce an Internet tax that had sparked major demonstrations and further concerns about civil liberties in the EU member state. Proposed changes to the tax code that would have imposed a new levy on online data transfers “cannot be introduced in its current form,” the right-wing Viktor Orban, 51, said in a morning radio interview. The proposed Internet tax was seen by Orban critics as the latest step to silence dissent, particularly since Hungarians have to go mostly online to find news that doesn’t toe the government line. The European Union has criticised the proposed legislation, with a spokesman for EU digital commissioner Neelie Kroes calling it a “particularly bad idea” and “part of that pattern of actions which have limited freedoms” in Hungary.

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