RTL official vows ‘independent news coverage’


Contradicting earlier reports that RTL Klub might agree to soften criticism of the Hungarian government, RTL Group spokesperson Oliver Fahlbusch told online daily Luxembourger Wort today that the Hungarian commercial channel is committed to continuing its “independent news coverage in any case”.

Commenting on plans to change the advertising tax in Hungary, Fahlbusch wrote in an email to the daily: "We would welcome such an amendment of the advertising tax law, in particular if our legal concerns would be addressed without further interventions from the EU. ... This would be a positive and important signal for all international investors in Hungary."

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán confirmed on January 30 that the Hungarian government has been in talks with German RTL Group about lowering the advertising tax, but said nothing has been decided yet and added that he insists on a revenue of HUF 7-10 bln from the tax.

Cabinet Chief János Lázár told reporters on February 3 that he will propose a reduction to the advertising tax at the ruling Fidesz party’s upcoming fraction meeting in Mezőkövesd. According to Index.hu, the plan to change the tax came from EC pressure, and was not contingent on RTL Klub reducing its criticism of the government.

The Hungarian Advertising Association reported yesterday that it was calling for negotiations with the Hungarian government regarding planned changes to the advertising tax. The association added that it believes there is a need for professional dialog, however, its point of view is that the tax should be fully withdrawn.




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