Thousands protested against tax changes on Wednesday

Government

Protesters in front of the Parliament yesterday evening.

Photo by Zoltán Balogh/MTI

For the second time this week, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Budapest yesterday night, opposing the changes to Itemized Tax for Small Businesses (KATA) which passed the Parliament on Tuesday.

The crowd first gathered on Kossuth tér in front of the Parliament at the protest organized by opposition party Momentum.

According to state news wire MTI, Ferenc Gelencsér, the party's president, announced at the demonstration that they would call for an extraordinary session of parliament to abolish the amendments. If lawmakers do not support the initiative, the party will appeal to the Constitutional Court.

At the same time, they are asking President of the Republic Katalin Novák not to sign the amendment or to ask the Constitutional Court to review the law.

Gelencsér said that in the past 12 years, government politicians "have stolen everything that can be moved".

"But this is not enough for them, they also want to steal our future," he added. "Before the elections, they lied that they could protect the country from war and crisis, but they are not only failing to protect Hungarians from crisis, they are causing it. While food prices are rising by 20%, the forint is weakening, the price of raw materials is skyrocketing, and the government is making it impossible for businesses to operate," argued Gelencsér.

After the official part of the protest ended, the crowd went to Nyugati tér, blocking car and tram traffic, and even the Nyugati tér overpass at around 7:30 p.m.

According to Telex.hu, the protesters then decided to split up. One group went to Oktogon, while another group of 500 to 1,000 people went to the Fidesz headquarters on Lendvay utca, where they could not get close to the building due to heavy police presence. In the meantime, the other group of demonstrators blocked Oktogon, where police were also deployed in force. The Lendvay utca protesters then turned back and reunited with the other demonstrators at Oktogon.

The protesters then decided to go to the Castle District, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's office is located, walking through Elizabeth Bridge.

In Buda Castle, riot police blocked the path of protesters on Dísz tér. The crowd demanded democracy and higher salaries for police officers while also chanting anti-government slogans. On loudspeakers, the authorities repeatedly asked the crowd to leave the scene in the direction of Matthias Church. Around midnight, Dísz tér began to empty, with some of those who remained wearing masks in anticipation of tear gas being fired, which in the end did not happen.

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