Three media outlets denied opportunity to cover Orbán’s speech

May 29, 2015

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Three Hungarian media outlets were prevented from covering Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech purporting to evaluate the accomplishments of the past five years.

Left-wing daily Népszava, independent Klubrádió and independent online 444.hu, all implacable critics of the government, were not admitted to the conference due to “insufficient space”.  However, as 444.hu subsequently pointed out to its readers, there was plenty of space in the courtyard of the Budapest Historical Museum that served as the venue for Orbán’s speech.

The event was hosted by the Foundation for a Civil Hungary (Polgári Magyarországért Alapítvány).  It seems that these days only government-funded institutes and Fidesz-funded foundations are happy to host Hungary’s controversial Prime Minister.

Fortunately, the three media outlets did not miss much.  Reiterating much of his “building a politically conscious middle class” rhetoric of late, Orbán claimed the country was standing on stable legs but acknowledged making mistakes, such as the attempt to introduce a tax on internet usage.  He confirmed Hungary’s commitment to NATO and the European Union. He said that whereas “strength” was the best word to describe his style of governance over the past five years, from now on the government would pay closer attention to the needs and concerns of everyday citizens.