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Simicska bitterly opposed to 5 per cent advertising tax

February 7th, 2015

The dailies build long stories around one single sentence uttered by the owner of Magyar Nemzet and HírTV, according to which any increase in the ads tax to be paid by most media outlets will lead to “a total media war.” (According to estimates, this would mean an increase from the current 0.5% or 1% ad tax to around 5%)

On 444, László Szily, wonders if the staunchest pro-government media outlets, like Magyar Nemzet and HírTV will really turn into fierce critics, while RTL Klub TV, after having carried unpleasant stories on Fidesz officials and their family members virtually every day, will once again confine itself to infotainment in its news programmes.

In a long article on the agreement reached between the government and RTL on reducing the amount of ad tax being paid by RTL Klub, Népszava quotes Lajos Simicska, former Fidesz treasurer and the founder of a pro-Fidesz media empire as saying that if the burden formerly paid by RTL Klub will be evenly distributed among the rest of the media, then “a total media war will ensue.” For the  RTL ads tax story see BudaPost, January 30). In Népszabadság, Népszava’s story is summarised under the headline “Simicska is ready for total war”, while Magyar Nemzet writes “the media war may become total”, which means that according to the number one right-wing daily a media war is already under way.

During the day most of the leading editors of the Simicska media empire resigned and Mr Simicska said he would replace them with “my people, who cannot be blackmailed or intimidated”.

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