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Szijjártó reacts to Clinton's critique of PM

History

Hungarian Foreign Minister designate Péter Szijjártó said Saturday that former U.S. President Bill Clinton "was conned" by unreliable sources when criticizing the Hungarian prime minister last week. According to Szijjártó, Clinton should have talked to American business owners running businesses in Hungary to find out the real situation in this country.

Clinton said Hungary’s Prime Minister wants to remain in power forever during a Thursday appearance on "The Daily Show", a popular American TV news and satire programClinton said there are three common government models in the world today: the entrepreneurial non-governmental model, the democratic model and authoritarian capitalism. Clinton cited the Hungarian prime minister's recent remarks about building an authoritarian capitalist model in the country. “He is just saying that he does not want ever to leave power. Usually those guys want to stay forever and make money," Clinton added.

The remarks came the same day that another American, Kate Byrnes, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), released a statement expressing her concern about the intimidation of civil society and the free press in Hungary.

Earlier this year, the Hungarian government started legal investigations against organizers and beneficiaries of Norway Grants, stating that Norway-funded NGOs were helping opposition groups to gain power.

Byrnes noted that, on September 8, Hungary’s National Bureau of Investigation initiated a series of police raids on two NGOs involved in the EEA-Norway NGO grant program in Hungary. During the raids, all the organization’s documents and computers were seized by the police officers.

According to Byrnes, the police raids demonstrate that Hungarian government intends to suppress NGOs that are critical of the government and to restrict the freedoms of civil society.

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