Hungary’s National Communication Authority (NKOH) spent nearly twice as much on “communication” (aka government propaganda) in 2017 than the amount put out to tender in 2016, according to Magyar Nemzet.
The conservative daily reports that NKOH spent HUF 46.7 billion (USD 180 million) on government communication last year, or 87 percent (HUF 21.7 billion/USD 83 million) more than the HUF 25 billion (USD 96 million) framework amount tendered in 2016.
The money went to companies owned by the same Fidesz media magnates as before: Gyula Balásy, Tibor Kuna, and Csaba Csetényi.
Magyar Nemzet further reports that the bulk of the government communication budget — some HUF 30 billion (USD 123 million) of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office and Hungarian Turistical Agency communications — was awarded to Balásy’s Lounge Design and New Land media companies. An additional HUF 12.9 billion, including the Hungarian Electric Company (MVM) and last year’s FINA world swimming championships-related communications, was awarded to Young & Partners and Trinity International, companies reportedly owned by Tibor Kuna, a friend of foreign minister Péter Szíjjártó
A “mere” HUF 3.5 billion (USD 13.4 million) went to media companies owned by Csaba Csetényi, including Network 360 and Affiliate Network, bringing to HUF 25.5 billion (USD 98 million) the value of state communication tenders won by “propaganda minister” Antal Rogán’s Pasa Park neighbor since 2014.