Hungarian government spent €23 million of taxpayers’ money on propaganda in the 50 days before the 2018 election. Fidesz only spent less than 3 million.
“The Hungarian government spent 23 million euros on ‘government communications’ in the month before the April 8th election. The infamous and widely condemned anti-immigration campaigns were included in this budget, as well as the anti-UN campaign. The largest amount was spent on advertising the ‘results’ of Viktor Orban’s government.” reported átlátszó.hu.
And this is just the last 50 days before the elections, when the anti-migration advertisements cost 3.9 million euros and the anti-UN ads cost 3.8 million euros.
But Fidesz also spent the last two years with permanent propaganda through its “government information” campaigns. The costs can’t even be fully estimated because authorities withhold every piece of information they can until court order (and beyond). What we know is that tens of thousands of billboards, online and offline adverts, and the entire Fidesz-controlled media was loaded with anti-migration, anti-EU, anti-Soros, and other scaremongering messages for two years, without a day of interruption.
The 23 million euros sum does not include the seven so-called national consultation direct marketing mail campaigns of the government, which are also known to cost tens of millions a pop – and yield no results.
The advertising was overpriced and it all landed at Fidesz-friendly agencies and media. The Orbán-government is using these advertising campaigns to finance its media machine that would otherwise suffer due to a combination of incompetence, servility and the fact that they are getting unreadable/unwatchable due to blatant propaganda. “Mediaworks (owned by Lőrinc Mészáros) and the companies owned by Orbán’s spin doctor Árpád Habony and film magnate Andy Vajna are always big winners of these propaganda campaigns.” We also have an emerging, new winner, the guy behind Magno Studio Kft.
You may wonder which of Orbán’s undying governance results have been advertised so hard before elections? Átlátszó kindly collected the answer: “It advertised, for example, the family tax credit, the financial help that families are entitled to when they buy a new home, and it also advertised how simple it is to file your taxes through the new tax filing website.”
For 12.5 million euros of taxpayers’ money Orbán wanted you to know that he spent government money on gas subsidies (that would have been unnecessary without his price fixing during the last campaign), stopped migrants, stopped the UN, celebrated March 15, and communicated its own results. So Orbán essentially spent your money on telling you how he spent your money, and how he communicated to you on your money. So Fidesz didn’t have to spend on it.
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