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Lajos Simicska’s war on Fidesz

April 7th, 2017

A pro-government commentator and a political analyst ponder the implications of the coordinated attack by media mogul Lajos Simicska and Jobbik on PM Orbán.

In an interview with 24.hu, media mogul Lajos Simicska accused PM Orbán of having planned a takeover of the RTL Klub, the number one commercial television station. This would have been financed, he claimed, by the Russian energy company Rosatom. Former Fidesz treasurer Lajos Simicska added that he has no formal agreement with the Jobbik party, but he acknowledged that Jobbik has his ‘wholehearted support.  In an even harsher episode of this saga, Ádám Simicska, publisher of Magyar Nemzet, the daily owned by his father, accused pro-government media executives in a Facebook post of sending paparazzi to monitor his family. He threatened PM Orbán that sensitive information about his family members could be leaked.

Magyar Idők’s Zsolt Bayer suggests that the Simicska family is spreading false accusations and lies in order to harm PM Orbán. The pro-government columnist thinks that such rude statements and unsubstantiated allegations are meant to discredit the government. In a separate piece, Bayer accuses Lajos Simicska of financing Jobbik’s anti-Fidesz campaign. Bayer finds it peculiar for Mr Simicska to allege that PM Orbán wanted to take over the RTL television station, recalling that in 2010, Jobbik leader Gábor Vona pledged to shut down the two leading commercial stations including RTL Klub, if he became Prime Minister.

In an interview with 24.hu, political analyst Gábor Török thinks that PM Orbán and Mr Simicska are on a collision course. Török contends that if Mr Simicska indeed has compromising information, he may significantly harm the governing party. At this point, however, there is no evidence whatsoever that Mr Simicska has any sensitive information, Török notes. He believes on the other hand that the Fidesz counter-attack which accuses Jobbik of having been ‘bought’ by an oligarch (Mr Simicska) may eventually weaken the radical right-wing party.

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