“I understand the protesters’ anger,” wrote Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony on the Tuesday demonstrations that shut down key parts of the capital over unfavorable changes to a tax structure designed for sole proprietors and small-scale entrepreneurs.
On social media, Karácsony called the transformation of the KATA law a “brutal tax increase,” since it means that “the tax burden for hundreds of thousands of people will increase fivefold in the middle of the tax year, while of course Fidesz oligarchs will still be able to pocket extra profits from their casinos.”
Karácsony also acknowledged the traffic snarl-ups that had occurred as a result of the protests:
Traffic in Budapest has slowed significantly in the past few hours because of the understandable and justified protests. Our employees are doing everything possible to ensure that the free expression of political opinion does not cause any major disruptions in the city beyond those that are unavoidable. I ask for, and thank the people of Budapest for their understanding and patience.
Yet despite the upheaval in the capital city over the changes to the KATA tax regime, Hungary’s public television station completely ignored the topic in its afternoon news report.
444 reports that M1 television’s 20-minute news segment at 2:00pm reported on stories such as a new beach for dogs at Lake Balaton, but did not mention a single word about the fact that the government was planning to ram through a major change in the tax law in one day, nor that protestors had occupied Budapest’s Margit Bridge and parts of Erzsébet Bridge. [HVG, 444]