Report: Lázár seeks new truce with RTL Group
Cabinet Chief János Lázár has reputedly been involved in talks with RTL Group, the German parent of Hungarian RTL Klub, in an effort to stop the station’s critical news coverage of the government, Hungarian online daily 444.hu reported yesterday.
Citing an unnamed source, 444.hu reported that the two parties are close to an agreement in which the government would ease the burden of the special advertising tax on RTL Klub. The tax, which was initiated in the summer, puts RTL Klub in the highest tax bracket and was apparently created in retaliation against RTL Klub's increasing anti-government coverage.
Since the tax was initiated, RTL Klub further increased its critical news coverage of the government.
According to the report, the unnamed source told 444.hu that RTL Klub CEO Dirk Gerkens would be replaced and RTL Klub would drop the amount of political coverage it carries in exchange for a reduction of the tax. Gerkens, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the ad tax and the government, recently said that he has moved his family out of the country due to threats of violence.
The unnamed source reportedly told 444.hu, that the Hungarian government is eager to close the issue by February 2, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives to meet with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
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