(MTI) – Media freedom remains under threat in Hungary, said Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the digital agenda, in a blog entry about Hungary’s ad tax on Monday.
“A free and plural media is the foundation of a free society, and a safeguard of democratic tradition. The new ‘advertising tax’ in Hungary shows it is still very much under threat,” the Dutch liberal politician said.
She criticised parliament for introducing the tax “in just a few days, without significant debate or consultation.” It is supposedly aimed to increase revenues but in practice it disproportionately affects one single company, RTL, she added.
“The conclusion is obvious. RTL is one of the few channels in Hungary not simply promoting a pro-Fidesz line; it is hard to see that the goal is anything other than to drive them out of Hungary,” Kroes said.
“But it is about more than just one tax or just one company: it is part of a pattern that is deeply worrying; a pattern contrary to the EU’s values. Taxation cannot be an instrument for discrimination, and tax policy should not be a political weapon,” she added.
To read the blog entry in full, visit http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kroes/en/blog/media-freedom-remains-under-threat-hungary
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