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Vodafone unhappy with strategic agreements

The strategic co-operation agreements Hungary’s government keeps signing with companies fail to provide the firms with the much needed means to influence the cabinet’s sometimes punitive economic policy, said György Beck, Chairman of the local unit of Vodafone, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, cited by business website Portfolio.hu. The telecom sector is weighed down by high taxes so Romania has better chances at present that Vodafone will go there instead of Hungary with its new software development centre, Beck added. "It’s unclear what the agreements are about. There’s no forum to discuss telecommunications issues, no dialogue, while drastic changes have hit us over the past three-four months," he said. The telecoms sector is a significant player in the Hungarian economy, generating 10% of the country’s gross domestic product while it has been hit hard by tax hikes, the paper cited Beck as saying. The government has levied a tax for every minute users speak on their phones and will introduce a further levy on utility networks.