PM Orbán Hungary
Budapest, 2018. május 18. Orbán Viktor miniszterelnök beszédet mond az Országgyûlés plenáris ülésén 2018. május 18-án. Mögötte Kövér László házelnök. MTI Fotó: Máthé Zoltán

In a letter addressed to the editor of the website of Bloomberg news agency in response to a recent article on the Hungarian government’s policies, government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said the article painted a “skewed picture of today’s Hungary”.

In its June 1 article, Bloomberg described Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as a key figure of a rise of populists threatening to divide the European Union. It cited Orban’s critics as saying that his rhetoric was “contrary to the values the EU has been built upon”. The article also said the Hungarian government had “widened a crackdown against non-governmental organisations and moved to silence dissent by undercutting the media and the judiciary”. It said political pressure has led US financier George Soros‘s Open Society Foundations (OSF) to move from Budapest to Berlin.

Kovács said

the article listed “the usual litany of charges” and distorted the meaning of what is happening in parts of Europe that oppose mass migration.

The government spokesman called the OSF “a fund for ideologically driven political activism”. “Under the so-called ‘crackdown,’ the Soros-funded Open Society network has come under stricter regulations affecting groups that survive almost exclusively on foreign funding to carry out activities that are blatantly partisan and drive an agenda that seeks to influence political outcomes,” Kovács said. “These groups have no democratic mandate but represent instead the very ideological interests of their foreign funder.”

Bloomberg said in its article: “After his election in 2010, Orban pushed through a new constitution over opposition protests, curtailed the power of courts, appointed allies to head institutions and changed the electoral system in ways that helped him keep power. The 55-year-old leader has gathered support by targeting immigrants, particularly Muslims, whom he’s called “invaders.” To protect what he calls “Christian Europe,” he built a fence on Hungary’s southern border and forced asylum-seekers into detention camps when a flood of Middle East refugees arrived in 2015.”

It noted that Hungary has erected a fence on its southern border with a view to protecting “Christian Europe”.

Kovács said in response to this that when 400,000 migrants entered Hungary illegally in 2015 “in flagrant disregard for all international rules”, it had felt like an “invasion”. He said the government had never “forced asylum-seekers into detention camps”, but rather built processing centres where they could wait until their asylum requests were ruled on.

The government spokesman said that by having built the border fence, Hungary was also protecting Europe’s border.

Read here Bloomberg’s article HERE

Photo: MTI

Source: MTI/Bloomberg

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