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Klub Radio and Demszky in the cross-hairs

May 17th, 2012

Népszava accuses the government of trying to silence the only left-wing radio station in Hungary, while Magyar Nemzet finds it unfair that the former liberal Mayor of Budapest can get away scot-free with the dismal heritage he left to his successor.

In Népszava, deputy editor János Dési suggests that the government felt so uneasy about submitting amendments to the Media Law which make it difficult for Klub Radio to continue broadcasting, that it entrusted two backbench MPs with the job. He argues that although in the age of the internet it is impossible to silence opposition views, it takes a professional and independent press to unmask “greedy oligarchs who plunder public money.” Dési, who is also a regular presenter on Klub Radio, believes that an independent, professional media “is on its deathbed.” In conclusion, he urges the “apparently powerless and disoriented” opposition to “do something” before it is too late.

In Magyar Nemzet, Matild Torkos calls on the government to lend a helping hand to Budapest Mayor István Tarlós, despite the challenges now facing public finances in Hungary.

The Mayor has just announced that Budapest is practically unable to cope with the heritage of the previous management. The capital is deeply indebted, its public transport system has a massive deficit, needs an urgent overhaul, and City Hall is embroiled in over a thousand trials, the outcome and consequences of which are uncertain. The commentator suggests that all this is due to many years of daydreaming and corruption under the former mayor, Gábor Demszky. And although scores of corruption cases are either under investigation or on trial, the former Mayor of the city is somehow never mentioned – “as if he had not been around at all.” Anyway, Torkos writes, “Budapest citizens should not be punished for Demszky’s folly,” and it would be unfair of the government “to leave Tarlós alone with those unmanageable problems.”

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