PM satisfied with Erste deal, insists on ad tax

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Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he was satisfied with the deal the Hungarian government signed with Erste at the beginning of the week, adding that a country can only fight against economic crisis if half of the banks are in “national hands”, Orbán said in his regular fortnightly interview with state-owned Kossuth radio.

He noted that the “national hands” he was referring to does not solely mean owned by the Hungarian government, but also owned by Hungarians. In connection with foreign exchange issues, he said that the government has declared that phase to be closed and by the middle of the year the country will close the entire issue.

Ad tax

“The Hungarian government cannot neglect the revenue the advertising tax would contribute to the central budget”, therefore the advertising tax will not be abolished but modified, the Prime Minister said in connection with negotiations over the advertising tax proposal submitted by Cabinet Chief János Lázár.

“The ad tax is about the fiscal interests of private owners, as such they have their own opinion about the measure”, Orbán said presumably referring to Simicska’s rancor last Friday. “They are trying to justify their version of the truth with different tools and methods of varying intensities” the Prime Minister added.

Orbán said that the Hungarian government cannot participate in debates like the one Simicska initiated, as the "realm of coffeehouse gossip does not correspond with the realm of the government". "The Cabinet keeps the interests of the country in mind and cannot be concerned with how some people disagree with it, nor about the style they use to express their disagreement"; and with that Orbán closed the topic.

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