Nepszabadsag, the main independent newspaper in Hungary, has just been bought by a company linked to a friend and crony of the Hungarian Prime minister, Viktor Orban. It suspended its publication more than two weeks ago alleging officially financial problems whereas the editorial staff of the newspaper claimed government pressure.
This deal will harm press diversity in the country and increase the control of Orban’s government over Hungarian media. It is a new blow to pluralism and democracy, two values under strain since Viktor Orban came into power in 2010 pledging to establish an illiberal democracy.
For Europe, and especially Orban’s partners of the European People’s Party, it is time to react and to voice their criticisms towards the path backward that Orban is imposing to its country. It is time to defend the values we put at the forefront of our founding Treaties, democracy, diversity, and pluralism, at a time where they are being attacked across the continent.
For us Young Democrats, the European Union shall never and will never be only a club of economic interest, but a commitment towards more democracy and the protection of the citizens whose country is depriving them of their basic liberties.
Update – 31/10: clarification on the reason of the suspension of publication