Magyar Nemzet, the daily Hungarian newspaper owned by construction and media mogul Lajos Simicska, reported on Tuesday that, according to some members of ruling party Fidesz, an “announcement of an information blockade” against his media outlets took place at a recent Fidesz caucus meeting . Magyar Nemzet writes that the information blockade also affects Simicska’s radio station Lánchíd Rádió and his television station Hír TV. (Simicska is also believed to be the indirect owner of TV2).
While there is no official boycott taking place, at a meeting of his party’s parliamentary fraction, Fidesz parliamentary Speaker László Kövér encouraged the MPs to stay away from opposition media outlets owned by Simicska–the same outlets which, prior to a recent falling out between Simicska and Fidesz chairman and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, faithfully toed the government line and extolled Fidesz’s virtues.
Népszabadság Online cited a Fidesz MP as saying, “this isn’t an official boycott, but it’s almost that because the recommendation was to avoid making statements to Magyar Nemzet and Hír TV.”
László Kövér’s recent interview with Magyar Hírlap, in which the Fidesz MP referred to Simicska’s media companies as opposition media outlets, was discussed at the Fidesz parliamentary fraction meeting. Fidesz MP and parliamentary fraction leader Antal Rogán discussed Kövér’s position with the MPs during the meeting.
Rumors have been floating around since February that Fidesz has considered boycotting Simicska’s media outlets by declining interviews with them. HVG.hu suggests the decision would coincide with the launch and rebranding of Hungary’s state-owned television broadcasts.