Hungary’s largest independent radio station will be closed next Sunday. The sender Club radio, which produces numerous programs criticizing Prime Minister Orbán’s government, is said to have made “administrative errors”, such as the late publication of viewing figures.
The European Commission says it is investigating whether the forced shutdown of the radio station violates European rules. “We are in contact with the Hungarian authorities and will not hesitate to act,” said a Commission spokesperson. Existing concerns about press freedom in Hungary have “only grown”.
Klubradio has long been in conflict with the media watchdog NMHH, which has the task of monitoring the news media for “political balance”, among other things. The NMHH has received considerable resources for this purpose, such as finding editorial offices and imposing fines on directors of media companies.
In 2013, Klubradio’s broadcast license was already withdrawn, but after protests the station was granted a license for an additional seven years. It will not be renewed now, due to administrative errors which, according to the director of the channel, are unexpected. “The only goal is to silence critical voices,” he said Euronews.