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Radio Free Europe to launch its Hungarian service

March 2nd, 2020

A pro-government commentator believes that the idea of reopening the Hungarian language service of Radio Free Europe must have come from the representatives of the ‘deep state’ within the US State Department.

In Demokrata, László Szentesi Zöldi considers the message of the project itself misleading, for it obviously implies that ‘Hungary is in deep trouble; democracy is dying, and therefore it is high time to launch a crusade against the land of the barbarians’. At any rate, he continues, a foreign radio broadcaster has a very meagre chance of recruiting any sizeable audience in Hungary. Even television is watched by substantially less people than just 10 years ago. More importantly, Hungarian listeners can already find an opposition-leaning news and talk radio which is fiercely critical of the government, so it is unclear why a foreign-based station would do any better. Under such conditions, Szentesi Zöldi can find no other explanation for launching Radio Free Europe in Hungarian, than as a project by the State Department bureaucracy to demonstrate that ‘the Cold War has been extended to Hungary again’. He believes nevertheless that after President Trump’s probable re-election, the Hungarian service of Radio Free Europe may ‘vanish as swiftly as it was resuscitated’.

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