January 12, 2011 1:51 AM Subscribe
As Hungary takes over the Presidency of the European Union, a new media law also comes into effect that centralizes control of the media in ways many consider is anti-democratic. The central media authority can issue decrees and apply financial penalties to those media, including internet portals and blogs who for "politically unbalanced reporting". The first test for the new Authority is Ice T following the broadcast of his songs, "Warning" and "It's On". Local media responded with blank pages by way of protest. Many see this as the latest example in the increasing authoritarian and anti-democratic nature of the Orban-led FIDESZ government. They point to the privatization of pensions, the diminution of the powers of the Constitutional Court and the imposition of wind-fall taxes on multi-national companies, as examples of this trend. The Washington Post calls it the "Putinizantion of Hungary", while The Guardian laments "One-party rule" in Hungary. The German newspaper, Spiegel describes it as a "A Slow Poison Attacking Democracy" while quoting those who refer to Hungary as a "Führer state". Local critics include the prominent economist János Kornai. English readers can keep up to-date with developments at the Hungarian Spectrum blog and politics.hu. On the hand, some see Hungary as a World of Potentials (SLYT).
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