International press review – what do other countries say about Hungary?
In a recent article, Népszava has reviewed international news outlets and media to see how they depict Hungary.
“State ownership is back in the spotlight.”
Central and Eastern Europe’s significant state involvement does not result in faster growth, nor does it help in catching up to the West. Moreover, it might even be preventing the latter from happening, and in Hungary, capitalism and favouritism of friends’ businesses are starting to be a bigger problem than state companies not being very efficient. A recent study has revealed that enterprises of public ownership in the region are much less profitable and productive than their competition from the private markets. The point is to have a competitive, well-managed market. But in the region, it seems like there is no independent supervision or management. These companies have no clear goals, lack strict financial accounting, reporting, and audits.
“State ownership is back in the spotlight,” says the outlet, as it might be more profitable from a political standpoint, but in these companies and banks, profit and productivity depend a lot of the times on the power-holding party’s decisions.
These companies are popular as they protect national interests and filter out outside competition, but they also help get government money or even influence, similarly to how in Poland, state-owned companies are advertised in conservative media but hardly ever appear in liberal media.
“The global gag on free speech is tightening.”
The article brings Hungary up as an example of the lack of free speech globally. And this part of Europe is allegedly democratic. But Fidesz is using tax money to control public speech. MTI is full of their minions, but the news agency provides free news to the public and other outlets. However, this leads to journalists and the public complaining about propaganda being pushed even from independent outlets.
PM Orbán’s friends have bought up every major portal, and according to Ágnes Urbán, even the most obvious corrupt cases cannot be investigated, as there are way too many of them.
According to Freedom House, freedom of speech has declined globally over the past decade, and in oppressive regimes, even more so. The reason for that is that many parties try to eliminate inconveniences in new ways. They are also encouraged by the weakening of free speech everywhere.
Sziget Festival pissed off many Hungarians and Hungarian authorities by announcing their “Love Revolution” this year. One of the biggest festivals of Europe draws in tens of thousands of people with their music and other programs. Even more people were outraged once Coca Cola revealed their “Love is Love” campaign for the festival.
One of the major problems of the event is the budget. Only €160,000 come from state sources out of the €16,000,000 budget. They try to compensate by raising ticket prices. A weekly pass costs a small fortune for the average Hungarian, so no wonder two-thirds of the festival-goers are foreigners.
But the Island of Freedom does not wish to lose their voice and influence, which they made clear with this year’s Love Revolution and the perfectly timed Coca Cola campaign, fighting for equality. To find out more about the public’s response to the #LOVEISLOVE campaign, click HERE.
Featured image: www.facebook.com/OrbánViktor
Source: nepszava.hu, ft.com, economist.com, lefigaro.fr