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Hungary’s Orban, orchestrated buyout of Euronews to influence EU public opinion

Hungary's Orban, orchestrated buyout of Euronews to influence EU public opinion Orban convenes Defense Council, Budapest, November 16, 2022, Anadolu Agency
By Newsroom
Jun 18, 2024 1:35 PM

It has been revealed that Euronews, one of Europe’s major media outlets, was bought in 2022 by individuals close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Euronews was purchased by Alpac Capital, a Portuguese investment fund, and 170 out of its 370 employees left the media organization. At that time, ALPAC CEO Pedro Vargas David was alleged to be close to Orban. It was disclosed that David’s father, former Portuguese MP Mario David, had previously advised Orban.

Documents obtained by Hungarian-based Direkt36 from the Hungarian state wealth fund Szechenyi Funds reveal that 45 million euros in support was provided from this fund during the channel’s acquisition. It was also revealed that a communication company close to Orban provided 12.5 million euros in support during the acquisition process.

Efforts to influence European public opinion

The channel, established in 1993 to compete with CNN, is claimed to have become a propaganda tool to support Hungary’s opposition stance within the E.U.

Hungary is one of the countries that has been hesitant about the E.U.’s sanctions against Russia due to the Ukraine War. It is known that Orban has close relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Hungary explains its Russia policy with the concept of balanced diplomacy, emphasizing the country’s energy needs. Additionally, Hungary has a dispute with Ukraine over the Transcarpathia issue.

Orban, while insisting on vetoing Ukraine’s E.U. and NATO membership at every opportunity, argues that the E.U. should negotiate with Putin to end the war in Ukraine.

Orban, in the recent past, campaigned in the European Parliament elections based on European skepticism, calling for the invasion of Europe.

It is thought that the campaign conducted by figures close to Orban to purchase Euronews was effective in the elections where the rise of the far right was observed.

Orban criticized for authoritarianism

The Budapest government, which has been the target of criticism for authoritarianism by the E.U. has been unable to benefit from E.U. funds for a long time, is also prominent with its anti-Soros stance. It is known that Orban’s use of the slogan “Stop Soros” in his election campaigns, kept him in power.

Last Updated:  Jun 18, 2024 3:39 PM