More children, fewer media outlets - Viktor Orbán's plan for Hungary

by Jane Whyatt

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán continues to defy the European Union’s attempts to curb the political takeover of independent media.

How Hungary shrunk the media Viktor Orban. Photo:dpa

His State of the Nation address accuses EU leaders, especially Frans Timmermans, "a socialist appointed by George Soros" - the millionaire Hungarian philanthropist - of interfering in national politics.

Orbán has already closed down the Soros-backed Central European University in Budapest. The entire higher education institution has been forced to re-locate to Vienna.

In his speech, he urged Hungarians to reject immigration and instead to have more babies. To encourage them, he now offers a preferential loan of 10 million forints (31,500 euros) to new mothers, together with crèches and help to buy family-sized cars. After her fourth child is born, a Hungarian woman will not have to pay any income tax for the rest of her life.

The claims Viktor Orbán made about economic and political success on the world stage have been challenged by opposition news website

But since he has organised the rest of the media into a giant conglomerate of government-friendly titles, Mr Orbán can be sure that only a minority of his citizens will read the criticism and refutations. In this special report for the European Centre of Press and Media Freedom, Gabor Polyak of the MERTEK Media Monitor reflects on the changes that have muzzled opposition voices in the Hungarian media.