to Hungary’s public media as a propaganda organ, and says much of the private
media has been “subjugated or reduced to silence.”
“The methods may be subtle or brazen, but they are
always efficient. Thanks to political-economic manoeuvres and the purchase of
media companies by oligarchs close to Fidesz, the ruling party, it now controls
80 per cent of the country’s media landscape,” the organization writes.
In response to the report, Orbán posted a video to his
Facebook page on Wednesday where he visits a Budapest newsstand and purchases
copies of several independent newspapers and magazines. Orbán tells the
newsstand manager that “some organization belonging to uncle George
Soros” put Hungary on a list of enemies of press freedom.
passes resolution condemning Hungary’s anti-LGBT law
Lawmakers of the European Parliament met in Strasbourg on
Thursday and passed a resolution that “condemns in the strongest possible
terms” a Hungarian law passed in June that they view as an attack on the
rights of LGBTQ people.
The resolution passed with 459 yes votes, 147 no votes
and 58 abstentions. In its text, the EU legislature’s five largest groups
called for the repeal of the law and urged the European Commission to withhold
post-pandemic recovery funds to Hungary unless it agrees to desist in its
anti-LGBTQ agenda and implement anti-corruption measures.
The Parliament stressed that the law is not an isolated
incident, but “rather constitutes another intentional and premeditated example
of the gradual dismantling of fundamental rights in Hungary.” It added that
“state-sponsored LGBTIQ-phobia and disinformation campaigns have become
tools for political censorship” in Hungary.
In a debate on the law in Strasbourg on Wednesday, President
of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, told the European Parliament
that the law was “a disgrace,” and said the commission would use its
full power to ensure that EU law is upheld.
law puts homosexuality and gender reassignment on par with pornography. This
legislation uses the protection of children … as an excuse to severely
discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation,” she
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán did not attend the debate in
Strasbourg, but offered his interpretation of the session during a trip to
Belgrade on Thursday. He claimed that the European Parliament and European
Commission “want us to allow LGBTQ organizations into kindergartens and
schools,” and that the debate “is about who decides how we will raise
“Brussels bureaucrats have no place here, and no matter
what they do, we are not going to allow LGBTQ activists near our children in
kindergartens and schools,” Orbán said.
Government to amend
decree requiring NGOs to disclose the names of donors
The decree also requires that names of individuals be
provided even in the case of donations from a company or other organization. If
a company makes a donation, for example, the names of each person who own at
least a 25 percent stake must be reported.
But on Saturday, Secretary of State Balázs Orbán wrote on
Facebook that the decree would soon be amended, and that donations
of under HUF 500,000 (€1,400) could remain anonymous.
“Meanwhile, the requirement of transparency will be
strengthened for larger sum donors,” he wrote.
The requirement to identify donors comes after the European Court of Justice ruled last year that Hungarian
legislation from 2017, which required NGOs that receive more than €20,000 in
foreign funding annually to register with the government and disclose their
foreign donors, violated European law.
That law was repealed this year, but another took its place
which requires NGOs with an annual budget of more than HUF 20 million (€56,000)
to be audited by the State Audit Office every two years.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the prime minister’s
chief of staff Gergely Gulyás confirmed that donations below HUF 500,000 could
“We made a mistake, I made a mistake,” he said of
the first version of the decree, acknowledging that it did not comply with EU
(*) — Justin Spike is an independent
journalist and fixer based in Budapest. He was the managing editor of the
Budapest Beacon, an independent, English-language news portal dedicated to
Hungarian politics and economy. He run InsightHungary in partnership with local
news website 444.hu. He have done fixing work for Financial Times, France24,
Aftenbladet, Heartland TV, and Princeton University. — !!444!!!
InsightHungary, is one of the few independent media
beyond the control of autocrat Viktor Orbán.