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    Journalists of the leftist newspaper Nepszabadsag, which was unexpectedly shut down on Saturday amid cries of a crackdown by right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government, paste a copy of the last issue onto the wall of a temporary newsroom in Budapest, Hungary, October 10, 2016

    European Commission Concerned by Closure of Hungarian Opposition Daily

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    The EC is concerned about the suspension of the biggest selling broadsheet newspaper, the chief EC spokesman said on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Commission is extremely concerned about the suspension of the print and online versions of Nepszabadsag, Hungary’s biggest selling broadsheet newspaper, over the weekend and is closely monitoring the situation, the chief EC spokesman said on Monday.

    "The Commission is aware of and concerned about the suspension of the Hungarian newspaper Nepszabadsag… Questions have been raised on the reasons of this suspension and we are of course following the situation closely," Margaritis Schinas told reporters in Brussels on Monday.

    The European Commission is reiterating that principles of media freedom, pluralism and the protection of journalists are fundamental elements of the free and open society that the commission defends, Schinas added.

    Hungary's largest daily opposition newspaper was unexpectedly shut down on October 8, fueling concerns over a government crackdown on critical media. The Nepszabadsag’s website was replaced by a statement from the owner, Mediaworks, saying it needed to reshape the business model.

    Hungarian opposition parties considered the suspension of Nepszabadsag’s online and printed editions to be a sign of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s tightening grip on Hungarian media.

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