The European Commission on Friday welcomed Hungary’s decision of scrapping plans to impose a tax on Internet traffic.
After prompting huge mass protests in Budapest and being strongly condemned by the EU, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the tax ‘in its current form can’t be introduced.’
“I’m very pleased for the Hungarian people. Their voices were heard. I’m proud the European Commission played a positive role in defending European values and a digital Europe,” EU spokesperson Ryan Heath said.
But the the plan is not being scrapped altogether. According to Orban, the Hungarian government will start consultations next year over internet regulation.
Early this week, the European Commission strongly criticised Orban’s project, calling it “a terrible idea” that “curbs freedom and won’t work”.
“It is part of a troubling pattern of behaviour and laws from the Hungarian governments, and more than that it is bad news for the internet which is a global common resource.”
“What affects the internet in Hungary affects us all and it is for that reason that Neelie Kroes and the European Commission are insistent on intervening at this stage of the debate on the tax,” Heath added.
Thousands of Hungarians protested against the government’s internet tax in Budapest on Sunday, chanting “Orban should resign.”
This is one of a series of clashes between Orban and the EU over issues like freedom and rule of law.