•   
  •   
  •   

OffbeatHungary's Orban exempts pro-government media group from scrutiny

15:16  06 december  2018
15:16  06 december  2018 Source:   reuters.com

Hungary’s strongman leader has a new American friend: Chuck Norris

Hungary’s strongman leader has a new American friend: Chuck Norris The American action movie star paid a visit to Viktor Orban while in Budapest.

Hungary attracted international media attention in 1999 for passing the "status law" concerning In the event, Viktor Orbán ' s group lost the April parliamentary elections to the opposition Hungarian The Orbán government began to attack Soros and his NGOs since early 2017, particularly for his

Allies of Mr. Orban , Hungary ’ s far-right leader, are buying media outlets across Central and Eastern Europe, extending his influence. In the past two years, Hungarian businessmen close to Mr. Orban have quietly invested in, or started, a handful of right-wing media outlets in Slovenia and in Macedonia.

Hungary's Orban exempts pro-government media group from scrutiny© Reuters/Bernadett Szabo FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech during the celebrations of the anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, in Budapest

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has exempted a mammoth pro-government media group from scrutiny by the national competition watchdog, according to a decree published late on Wednesday.

Critics say the rightwing nationalist leader is presiding over a gradual disappearance of independent media in the ex-Communist satellite. Dozens of newspapers and broadcasters critical of Orban have changed hands in recent years, resulting in less public dissent.

Thousands rally against Macedonia's government

Thousands rally against Macedonia's government Several thousand protesters from Macedonia's right-wing opposition marched through the capital Skopje Wednesday in a protest against Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who is pushing through a deal to change the country's name. The group, waving Macedonia's red-and-yellow flags, was led by the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party that was ousted from power in 2017 and has seen its ranks weakened further in recent months. The party has so far failed to thwart a deal that Zaev, a pro-EU Social Democrat, struck with Greece this year to rename the country "North Macedonia".

Hungarian -Czech bilateral relations have entered a new dimension. At a press conference in Prague, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that the UN’ s All religious denominations, including members of the Jewish community, can exercise their faith in safety in Hungary , unlike in a number of Western

Hungary ’ s government -favoured tycoons may be worth only hundreds of millions, not the billions of dollars He assembled a loyal media empire and, thanks largely to state contracts, a sprawling On billboards across Hungary in September posters appeared showing premier Viktor Orban with three

The Central European Press and Media Foundation conglomerate, created this year by Orban loyalists, runs an immense media portfolio received from several pro-government businessmen as charitable donations.

It has more than 400 outlets, from Echo TV and Hir TV to national daily Magyar Idok and all regional newspapers.

The decree, published in the Official Gazette and signed by Orban, said exempting the group from regulatory scrutiny was in the public interest. But the Association of Hungarian Journalists reacted on Thursday by vowing to appeal against the holding's creation at the Constitutional Court.

Gabor Polyak, analyst at Hungarian media think tank Mertek, said competition was being distorted by the conglomerate.

Five consequences of France's 'yellow vest' protests

Five consequences of France's 'yellow vest' protests Anti-government protesters wearing florescent yellow jackets have roiled France for nearly three weeks and shaken the government of President Emmanuel Macron. Here are five key consequences of the crisis: 1 - A weakened president at home Since his election in May 2017, Macron, a former investment banker, had styled himself as a resolute and visionary president in the style of famed former French leaders such as Charles de Gaulle. His detractors saw in him the authoritarian instincts of a older historical figure: Napoleon Bonaparte, the 19th-century general who named himself emperor of the French.

Parliament votes for first time to trigger article 7 procedure against a member state.

Hungary group on WN Network delivers the latest Videos and Editable pages for News & Events, including built by prime minister Victor Orbán ’s government , which claims to commemorate “the victims BATE Borisov's win over Hungary ' s Vidi earlier on Thursday meant Chelsea were already

"The fact the government opted for this political solution is an open admission this would not have passed the provisions of either the media law or the competition law," he said.

"This will create a scale of media concentration unthinkable in the Western world."

Hungary's government has denied undermining press freedom.

Its communications office KTK justified the decree as enabling the group to help ensure the survival of print media.

The group's head Gabor Liszkay, a close Orban confidante, said he could not comment on the transactions to create the group, but dismissed accusations of bias.

"Our critics have already been calling us mouthpieces," he told Reuters. "There is no change in that now."

A 2017 survey by U.S. government-funded Freedom House ranked Hungary's press as "partly free", while a European Union parliamentary report this year said media was concentrated in the hands of pro-Orban oligarchs.

Although the new Central European Press and Media Foundation does not target profit generation, its portfolio is in fact a big money-maker. Last year, members of the group had revenue of 60 billion forints ($210 million), much of it from state adverts, and made a profit of 8 billion forints, according to independent news web site 24.hu.

Orban, 55, who projects himself as a savior of Hungary's Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe, won a third straight term in power earlier this year.

(Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Hungary's controversial 'slave law' passes, sparking protests in parliament.
Hungary's parliament was thrown into scenes of turmoil following the vote on the new legislation, with opposition lawmakers sounding air horns and angrily confronting Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
This is interesting!