Hungary advert tax seen threat to press freedom | Inquirer News

Hungary advert tax seen threat to press freedom

/ 07:25 PM June 03, 2014

Hungarian Prime Minister and Chairman of center right Fidesz party Viktor Orban casts his vote in the European Parliamentary elections with his wife Aniko Levai in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, May 25, 2014. AP/MTI, Szilard Koszticsak

BUDAPEST, Hungary—Hungarian journalists and analysts say that a new proposal to tax media advertising revenues threatens the free press.

A draft bill presented by Laszlo L. Simon, a lawmaker from the governing Fidesz party, would tax media companies’ annual advertising revenues in several steps, rising to a maximum rate of 40 percent on revenues above 20 billion forints ($89 million).


Peter Csermely, deputy editor of the generally pro-Fidesz Magyar Nemzet newspaper, said Tuesday that the proposal is a government attempt “to step on the throat of press freedom” by weakening it financially.


Agnes Urban, an analyst at Mertek Media Monitor, said the tax could also increase government influence on Hungary’s commercial television market.

RTL Hungary, the country’s largest broadcaster, said the tax would push it into the red, threatening jobs.


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TAGS: advertising, analysts, Budapest, Freedom, Hungary, journalists, Media, press, Revenues

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