- 7 Jun 2018 9:01 AM
- Hungary Matters
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 Orbán’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. He 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 that Orbán increased his support in this year’s election campaign by targeting Muslim immigrants, whom he called “invaders”.
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. He said that by having built the border fence, Hungary was also protecting Europe’s border.
MTI Photo: Kovács Attila