Hungary Again Rejects Sole Opposition Radio’s Bid for Frequency

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Hungary’s media regulator rejected a bid from the country’s only opposition news radio broadcaster to regain its frequency, defying European Union and U.S. urging to let the station return to the air.

The radio station, Klubradio, was the only bidder left in a tender for the frequency that it had held until recently. But the regulator said Thursday that it had ruled the tender invalid, without elaborating. Klubradio said it will appeal the decision.

The media authority, controlled exclusively by appointees of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s ruling party, refused to renew Klubradio’s expiring frequency, pushing the station off the air last month.

It was widely seen as the latest step by Orban’s administration to curb independent media in Hungary, which slid to 89th place in the press-freedom index of Reporters Without Borders civil group, the second-worst in the European union.

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