The Hungarian Telecommunications Authority has announced that it will not renew the license of Klubradio, one of the country’s most important independent broadcasters, due to alleged irregularities. The approval therefore expires in February 2021.
The authorities are now planning to put the club radio broadcasting frequency, which is restricted to Budapest territory, to tender, which has been received with suspicion by the opposition to Viktor Orban’s government, which “de facto” controls the media regulator.
The station manager Miklos Arato has denied that the company has committed any wrongdoing. “If we had broken an important law, they would have imposed heavy fines on us, but they didn’t,” he told the news portal ‘444.hu’.
“You could have said in the statement that you don’t like us,” said Arato ironically. In July, an Orban-affiliated company managed to silence the independent portal ‘index.hu’, while the main opposition newspaper ‘Nepszabadag’ was closed in 2016 after it was also bought by people related to the Prime Minister.