- 3 Aug 2018 9:35 AM
- Hungary Matters
“The onetime liberal terror against free speech represented by the now defunct SZDSZ party now has been succeeded by a Fidesz-led one,” deputy party leader Enikő Hegedűs told a press conference in reaction to what she called “a demonstration of power; the occupation by force of the studio of commercial news channel Hir TV” the previous day.
Hír TV was sold late last month by business magnate Lajos Simicska, alongside his other media outlets, to Zsolt Nyerges, his former business partner.
Nyerges on Wednesday announced changes in the entire management and staff at the broadcaster that include a return of former staff members. Simicska bought Hír TV in 2015 after fallen out with ruling Fidesz and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
The Socialists said Hungary’s media was undergoing unprecedented developments, with press freedom soon becoming nonexistent.
Gergely Őrsi, the deputy leader of the Socialists’ Budapest chapter, said that the term free press meant for the ruling party that businessmen “linked to Fidesz” such as Zsolt Nyerges, Lőrinc Mészáros and Árpád Habony were “free” to buy any media outlets and “finance their operation from state ads”, some of them even at a loss.
He said it was “not normal” by Fidesz to state that the party got back a broadcaster that had earlier been taken away from them.