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Fidesz won’t say whether government received free or discounted advertising space

Despite multiple requests, the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister and ruling party Fidesz failed to disclose whether the government was given advertising space for free or at discounted rates, reports left-wing online daily Népszava.

Népszava wanted to know how many times the government purchased advertising spaces at preferential rates, how much such spaces cost, and exactly what the government advertised. The daily online also wanted to know whether the government asked for a discount, or was offered a preferential price by advertising space owners, and if so, what the justification for the government’s request or the owners’ offer was.

According to the left-wing daily, the fact that it did not receive answers to its questions leads to the conclusion that neither the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister nor Fidesz is refuting claims that the government received advertising spaces for free or at a discount.

Meanwhile, leader of Fidesz’s parliamentary group Lajos Kósa told pro-government TV2’s Mokka morning program that he had compared the public reports of the advertising expenditures of Politics Can Be Different (LMP) and the radical-right Jobbik party, and found that LMP paid much more for an advertising space than Jobbik, implying that businessman and billboard owner Lajos Simicska provided such space for Jobbik at a preferential price.

Last week the governing Fidesz-KDNP coalition failed to muster the two-thirds parliamentary support for a bill that would have prohibited political parties from setting up political billboards outside election campaign periods. The bill was aimed primarily against extremist Jobbik, which has been renting hundreds of billboards from Simicska for its Fidesz-bashing billboard campaign, allegedly at preferential rates.

Balázs Pivarnyik :