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Orbán to hold ‘representatives of global capital’ accountable

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said this morning that “representatives of global capital” need to be made accountable and transparent – believed to be a reference to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) critical of how the government has been handling the refugee crisis, according to reports.

Orbán on air this morning. (MTI / Zoltán Máthé)

“International organizations that operate in Hungary and call themselves civilian, but are really trying to influence Hungarian public life, representing the interests of global capital and being financed from abroad, need to be made accountable and transparent,” official government website kormany.hu said, citing the prime minister’s weekly interview with state-owned Kossuth radio this morning.

According to the current leader of Hungary, in the past more than 20 years “we have put up with” the existence of such organizations, but “their behavior related to migration has been too much”, kormany.hu reported. The government has received many criticisms from human rights organizations operating in the country for how it has been handling the refugee crisis.

Orbán said that Hungary “cannot afford” a situation where “organizations that stay in the blurriness of being unknown” — which he explained meaning that they do not admit who finances them and why — can “continuously exhort migrants into violating Hungarian law in order to somehow get into Hungary”.

He added that organizations “primarily related to George Soros have crossed a line”, the government website reported. It seems the ongoing feud between the Hungarian government and Soros will not be coming to an end soon anytime soon; this comment follows a recent assertion by the financier-philanthropist that the Hungarian government was  a “threat to the civil society”.

The Hungarian government has received international and regional criticism for its handling of the refugee crisis that the European Union itself is struggling to tackle. Local branches of international NGOs have criticized the Orbán government on numerous occasions, charging to it is too harsh and inhuman with refugees.

Hungary’s governing party Fidesz has described Amnesty International (AI) as a “pro-migrant agents organization” in a statement, accusing the human rights NGO of being funded by Soros to serve a pro-migrant agenda. AI rejected the accusations in a statement sent to the BBJ.

The governing party has recently launched what seems to be a general offensive against NGOs operating in the country. Szilárd Németh, a Fidesz vice president and MP, named a number of NGOs that the current Hungarian government is aiming to curb.