Hungary Today responds to HFP article: The pro-government foundation does not receive public funds

Dear Editor, 

I would like to point out some mistakes that took place in the following article about Hungary Today and its publisher, the Friends of Hungary Foundation. 

Szabolcs Nótin, editor-in-chief of the pro-government Hungary Today online paper.

Szabolcs Nótin

On the same issue, we have written an article earlier, fyi.

The Foundation has never received or applied for state funding and covers its operation costs exclusively from private and corporate donations. The Foundation is committed to transparency and has accordingly made available all information concerning its operation and objectives on its website. Please read our official “public benefit reports” here.

I consider it both professionally unethical and morally incorrect to mislead those interested in Hungarian public life with false information and deceptive conclusions, therefore I hope you will correct at least these mistakes.

Kind regards,
Szabolcs Nótin
Editor-in-Chief, Hungary Today


After receiving Mr. Nótin’s email, I asked a few follow-up questions. Hungary Today’s editor-in-chief was good enough to respond. Mr. Nótin informed me that perhaps the confusion surrounding the issue of state subsidies to a group called Friends of Hungary is due to the fact that there was another organization with precisely the same name, and with a similar goal of improving the image of the Orbán government in English and abroad, which then apparently decided to change its name, prior to this name being appropriated by Mr. Nótin’s foundation.


Christopher Adam

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation used the ‘Friends of Hungary’ name formerly. Unfortunately, the Hungarian State Budget Act also used their former name in 2013. This is the reason why the ‘Magyarország Barátai Alapítvány’ – which mean in English ‘Friends of Hungary Foundation’ – is often criticized for using taxpayer’s money. In fact, we have never received state funding”–explained Mr. Nótin to HFP, in a follow-up email.

Not only did the Hungarian state budget “confuse” the name of the organization that they were funding (forgetting that the name had by then been changed and was picked up by another group), but so did the Prime Minister’s Office a year later. On June 19th, 2014, deputy state secretary Ildikó Kandra of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office’s responded to an access to information request from the Átlátszó.hu website. In her June 2014 letter, she kept referring to the Friends of Hungary as being the foundation that received state funds.

The Friends of Hungary Foundation established its online news site, Hungary Today, in July 2014.

Christopher Adam/HFP

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