Mass layoffs leave Hungarian press fearful of govt - The Guardian

In Hungary

In its latest article, The Guardian summarizes its take on the development of laws in Hungary over the last year. 

Opposition parties were outraged by the "political purge" by Viktor Orbán's rightwing government, which has been in power since May 2010.

Hundreds of public- and private-sector journalists fear for their future, says The Guardian."Anyone who dares to voice criticism is treated as an enemy of the state," says Austrian state radio's Budapest correspondent.

The new law on the media caused an outcry elsewhere in Europe when it was passed last December but has since been tightened up. The head of the media council, Annamaria Szalai, recently imposed a fine of $1.25 million on the commercial channel RTL Klub for showing a programme that discussed sex without issuing a warning for minors.

Continuing its relentless drive, the overwhelming rightwing majority in parliament passed a bill at the beginning of July radically reforming welfare payments, continues The Guardian. Unemployment benefit will henceforth only be paid for 90 days and anyone receiving national assistance will be required to take part in community service supervised by retired police officers.

The newspapers notes that if the work to be done is located more than a three-hour journey from a person's home, they will be accommodated in shipping containers.

Finally, the article mentions the judiciary reform and proposed electoral reform, noting a wave of concern from the opposition.


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