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Mar 19, 2018

Government officially asks The Jerusalem Post for a copy of audio recordings “justifying efforts by a Soros NGO lobbying the German government to put pressure on Hungary”

The foreign minister said the government must respond to the Israeli paper saying on Friday that a Berlin-based NGO funded by US billionaire George Soros had tried to lobby the German government to intervene against Hungary’s law on the transparency of foreign-funded NGOs

The Hungarian government has officially asked The Jerusalem Post for a copy of audio recordings “justifying efforts by a Soros NGO lobbying the German government to put pressure on Hungary”.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the government must respond to the Israeli paper saying on Friday that a Berlin-based NGO funded by US billionaire George Soros had tried to lobby the German government to intervene against Hungary’s law on the transparency of foreign-funded NGOs.

According to MTI, the article made reference to audio recordings of a January meeting between Balázs Dénes, the Hungarian head of the Civil Liberties Union for Europe, and “someone he thought was a supporter”, in which Dénes can be heard talking about his organization’s work to get Germany to pressure Hungary into overturning the law.

Minister Szijjártó said the recordings indicated that the Soros-funded group was pursuing the German government to put pressure through German businesses on the Hungarian government.

The minister noted there are some 6,000 German companies employing about 300,000 people in Hungary. German investments to Hungary account for 28-29 percent of all direct foreign investment to the country, he added.

Minister Szijjártó said any attempt aimed at leveraging German influence against Hungary will put at risk the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Hungarians.

Companies cited in the article include Audi, Bosch and Mercedes that employ some 35,000 Hungarians and talks are underway on prospective German investments that would create 10,000 additional jobs. The minister said “the Soros network’s activities jeopardize these”.