London (MTI) – Hungary’s government believes that the transparency of non-governmental organisations “has the same requirement as in the case of politics and politicians, especially if those societies or associations deal with politics or policy-related issues,” government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said in a telephone interview published in The Guardian newspaper on Saturday.
Kovács said the Obama administration’s criticism of Hungary’s policy towards civil society groups had put “an unnecessary strain” on relations. “Visibly there is going to be a new era and very obviously, even from Washington, you will have a different kind of opinion, a different kind of attention regarding these issues,” he said.
The paper’s commentary said prime minister Viktor Orbán’s “increasingly authoritarian behaviour has sparked fears of an erosion of democracy in Hungary”.
In the interview, Kovács said “Hungary had been subjected to unfounded accusations about transparency and corruption”. “We believe that by getting rid of these elements of the political argumentation, it is going to be easier. A more pragmatic era is going to come,” he added. “Hungary is not going to be measured by the double standards or relativism that has been suggested by many of these accusations.”
Asked why Hungary objects to NGOs receiving funds from abroad, the government spokesman said this must be viewed “in terms of national sovereignty.” “You hardly see central European countries financing, say, civil groups in Britain to influence politicians,” he added.
Kovács claimed Hungarian-born US financier George Soros had “very obviously” sought to interfere in Hungarian politics, for example by pushing for the acceptance of migrants and refugees in European countries.
Read the original interview in The Guardian newspaper.
Source: MTI/The Guardian