New report on Chinese influence in Hungary raises concerns

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China's activities in Hungary resulted in 'soft power' - CEPA's research shows

The Hungarian government behaved like "a Trojan horse in the Western alliance system," a new report by the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) claims. The report notes that Budapest expressed its support for Beijing earlier on a few "controversial international issues". It mentions the Orban government blocking the European Union from issuing a joint communique that condemns human rights abuses in China and reminds that Hungary was the first EU country to join the disputed Belt and Road Initiative.

The analysis states that the Hungarian government’s 'willing cooperation' with Beijing means that "China does not need to directly influence or actively intervene in Hungary’s domestic debates to change public perceptions". China's activities over the past decade have generated classical soft power in Hungary - CEPA's report writes.

Despite Budapest's grand trade announcements for the past years, China is still far from one of Hungary’s most important trade partners. China’s share of total Hungarian exports was 1.72% in 2020.

Hungarian radio host quits amid growing 'political pressure'

Gina Molnar, former host of Best FM radio (Debrecen) quit her job and in her farewell speech, she mentioned 'political pressure' as one of the main reasons for her decision. "Recently, many things have changed due to political pressure. I've been feeling a need for change for a while now, " Molnar said.

Molnar has spent 12 years at Best FM.

The state of media freedom in Hungary has been raising concerns for the past years. According to Freedom House, the ruling party, Fidesz has undermined the constitutional guarantee that protects freedom of the press through legislation on media regulation. Though independent or opposition-aligned outlets exist, national and regional media are largely dominated by pro-government outlets.

Prices caps to be phased out, Hungarian minister for Economic development says

In an interview with Inforadio on Wednesday, the Hungarian minister for Economic Development said that price caps in the country will have to be phased out as they are expensive to maintain - Reuters reports.

The Hungarian government capped fuel and energy prices and the price of some basic food items to shield consumers from record-high inflation. The country's core inflation surged to 16,7 percent in July, the highest in 25 years. The cap on fuel prices and a few food items will be maintained until October.

Deputy Governor of Central Bank, Barnabas Virag said it was difficult to predict where inflation will peak but price growth is expected in the upcoming months.

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