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Forecast for Hungary’s Klub Radio: less cloudy, possible sunshine

Klub RadioThe prospects for Hungary’s embattled indie radio station Klub Radio seem to be improving. When last we posted on this subject, Budapest saw a sizable demonstration on behalf of the signal, which lost a crucial license to an obscure easy listening broadcast  group. Civil liberties groups cried foul, and so did European Commission media maven Neelie Kroes.

But now Kroes is crowing over discussions she has been having with Hungary’s center-right government. Here’s her latest tweet on the matter:

I also just spoke to Hungarian Deputy PM Navracsics – we are working towards a solution for #media #freedom & #pluralism

All this is happening in the context of Hungary negotiating for help from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. Observers in Brussels are upset at Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s moves to push hundreds of judges into retirement and replace them with picks favorable to the government. The government’s control over media outlets is also causing static.

“No IMF deal will be contingent on the fate of Klubrádio,” notes The Economist. “But the station’s uncertain future is certainly not helping Hungary’s cause. . . . The station, your correspondent predicts, will be saved.”

Let’s hope so.

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One Response to Forecast for Hungary’s Klub Radio: less cloudy, possible sunshine

  1. Süni January 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Budapest resident here. I’m a bit more skeptical than Adam LeBor, who wrote the Economist piece. I kind of doubt Viktor Orbán really cares about Neelie Kroes too much, and giving in to demands of restoring Klubrádió would be politically damaging to him. So I suspect it won’t come back even though they might work out some other less acceptable solution. But this European involvement in Klubrádió is a good thing as it puts the government on notice that the EU is watching Hungary and its media situation and conceivably will prevent further similar abuses of the media law.

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