Monday

19th Nov 2018

Hungarian journalists to sue publisher

In the latest twist of the fate of Hungary's largest daily newspaper, which was suspended on Saturday, the acting CEO of the publisher resigned on Monday (10 October), only two days after being appointed.

Mediaworks, which is owned by an Austrian investor, Vienna Capital Partners (VCP), put out a statement on Monday evening that Viktor Katona had resigned because of health issues.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The move came as Nepszabadsag's journalists revealed documents that suggest Mediaworks used the name Nepszabadsag and other names associated with the brand as collateral to get a loan from MKB Bank in August.

In practice, it means the sale of the newspaper cannot be completed without the consent of the bank, and makes it impossible for journalists to restart the paper under the same name, or a similarly sounding name.

MKB Bank came under the control of Hungary's central bank in December 2014.

The state-owned bank was later sold to a consortium of investors in March, but the actual owners remain unknown.

Local media reported that one of the owners could have ties to the business circles close to the Hungarian government.

Nepszabadsag's journalists said in a Facebook post that they were going to "take legal action against the publisher due to ongoing legal violations".

Mediaworks said in a statement on Monday that "the company is committed to open and sincere talks" with the journalists.

But talks have so far failed.

The staff offered to buy the newspaper for €1 on Monday. Mediaworks said in an earlier statement that the newspaper had built up losses of €16.4 million due to fall in circulation since 2007.

Nepszabadsag journalists attempted to enter their offices on Monday to take their personal belongings, but the doors remained locked. They are now operating from a co-working space in Budapest.

EU hesitant on Hungary newspaper closure

Journalists from Hungary's largest newspaper were locked out of their office for a second day on Monday, but the EU Commission said it was powerless to help.

Opinion

Pulling punches on Hungary media law

The EU should continue to put pressure on Hungary over media restrictions after recent legal amendments did not go far enough, says human rights campaigner Amanda McRae.

Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Authorities in Budapest confirmed the former prime minister of Macedonia, fleeing a jail sentence in his own country, has filed for asylum. Despite Hungary's strict asylum laws, the pro-Kremlin politician was not turned away.

Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army

Angela Merkel's much-anticipated speech to the European Parliament was brief and to the point. Her message: Europe is alone in the world, the EU should be more united on defence, but not on the economy.

EU action on Hungary and Poland drowns in procedure

EU ministers' discussion on how to address rule of law issues in Poland and Hungary gets stuck on procedural issues, while Viktor Orban's government claims it is a target of the Brussels elite because of its anti-migration stance.

News in Brief

  1. Ireland extradites Polish man despite rule of law concerns
  2. Germany and France agree eurozone budget framework
  3. Austrian foreign minister: EU's Israel policy 'too strict'
  4. Soros and Kurz discuss Central European University move
  5. EU set to tighten rules on foreign strategic investment
  6. Macron repeats call for unified Europe in Bundestag speech
  7. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  8. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem

Opinion

On Armistice Day, EU is still best gift we can give our children

While young people fought each other in 1918, young people in 2018 travel to study together under the Erasmus programme. But there is a risk of limiting our commemoration to representing the past through just speeches, museum exhibits and visits.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Spain raises Gibraltar, as EU and UK talk post-2020 relationship
  2. Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges
  3. Dutch flesh out proposal for EU human rights sanctions
  4. EU cheerleaders go to Russia-occupied Ukraine
  5. EU must recognise new force for Balkans destabilisation
  6. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  7. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  8. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us