Budapest, May 17 (MTI) – Corruption in Hungary is of such an extent as to be worrying, US Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell said in a lecture given in the Central European University on Tuesday.
The ambassador outlined the standpoint of the United States in the areas of migration, security and foreign affairs. She said that corruption is a problem on a global scale and it weakens the rule of law, holds back growth and suffocates innovation and investment.
Businesses cannot remain competitive if rules favour those who have strong ties to the government, she said. Citizens for their part feel cheated when their taxes end up in the pockets of public servants, elected officials and their families instead of going towards the services and security for which they are paying, Bell said.
As we wrote, on last Friday Bill Clinton referred to Hungary and Poland as “two countries that would not be free but for the United States and the long Cold War”.
Responding to a reporter’s question concerning President Bill Clinton’s recent remarks describing the Hungarian and Polish governments as “Putin-type leaders”, Bell said Clinton is a private individual and expressed his personal opinion.
In response to a student’s question about claims that Hungary’s media have become propaganda tools and were under government pressure, she said the free press is very important and the US supports a free press in the entire region.