Budapest, December 18 (MTI) – Magyar Telekom had abused its powers as a large company with lots of money and influence when it cancelled its sponsorship contract with pop singer Akos, Cabinet Chief Antal Rogan said on Friday.
The government on Thursday instructed its ministries to cancel their mobile internet contracts with Magyar Telekom in response to the move. The cancellation does not impact on the Hungarian government’s strategic partnership with MT.
Rogan told commercial TV2 on Friday morning that the government’s move was a symbolic gesture to all Hungarian citizens, signalling that such moves are not without consequence and must be carefully thought over. He said MT had acted unconstitutionally, violating freedoms of opinion and speech by withdrawing funding merely for disagreeing with someone’s opinion.
He noted however that the government’s response is only symbolic, as mobile internet contracts account for just 0.1 percent of revenue from MT’s government contracts. “MT will not lose too much money as a consequence,” Rogan said.
No multinational company can allow itself such a move because of a “media hype”, Rogan said. It is obvious to any open-minded person that Hungary’s constitution respects women and allows their positive discrimination. The government’s family policy also supports women in work, women finding employment “before and after giving birth”.
Pop singer Akos Kovacs commented about the role of women in society in an interview to Echo TV earlier in the week which triggered protest even from a lot of his own fans. He said: “the role of women is not to make as much money as men, … but belonging to someone, giving birth … being mothers”.
House Speaker Laszlo Kover also said last week that Hungarian women should consider giving birth the “highest form of self-fulfillment”.