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Hungary intellectuals appeal to Clinton over 'autocratic' govt

Clinton is due to arrive in Budapest Wednesday and will meet Hungarian Foreign Minister János Martonyi and the prime minister Thursday. However, some await her visit more impatiently than others.

During Hillary Clinton's visit to Budapest this week, a group of Hungarian intellectuals, including writer György Konrád and former OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Miklós Haraszti, has appealed to the Secretary of State to speak out against what they called their country's "autocratic system" during her visit to Budapest this week, Reuters reported.

According to a letter by the same group dated June 26, the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government was systematically removing checks and balances to its powers. Intellectuals who fought against Hungary's old communist regime said the center-right government had restricted the freedom of the press, curbed the powers of the top court and passed a new constitution which tied the hands of future governments.

During his visit to Budapest in July 1989, former President George Bush gave a speech in front of the parliament building to thousands of Hungarians, saluting the reforms and changes that were taking place at the time. The group hopes that Clinton could carry on the legacy and help Hungary prevent the demolition of democracy by Fidesz and KDNP parties.