Jan 31, 2017

WATCH VIDEO: Hungary's foreign minister says people should know if NGOs are funded from abroad

The foreign minister said there was a clear demand for politics to be transparent. He argued that in this case transparency should be demanded of all organizations that influence public affairs, including NGOs, “because the people have a right to know whom these NGOs, whom these organizations actually represent”

Hungary's foreign minister has said that the Hungarian people deserve to know if there are any non-governmental organizations in the country that are financed from abroad.

During an interview for Russia Today, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade,  said that an “unfair and unjust approach [is] being spread” that NGOs represent the interests of the people of a given country. This is “a very dangerous approach,” Minister Szijjártó said, arguing that NGOs had never been elected to represent the people, and that it was parliament and government that had a mandate to represent voters.

MTI reports that the minister also said there was a clear demand for politics to be transparent. He argued that in this case transparency should be demanded of all organizations that influence public affairs, including NGOs, “because the people have a right to know whom these NGOs, whom these organizations actually represent.” He said that if there were civic groups in Hungary “financed by foreign citizens, by other countries, by other governments, then it should be known to the people.”

Minister Szijjártó said the Hungarian government was aware that George Soros was funding a number of civic groups, noting that the financier had spoken openly about wanting the government to “fail … because he doesn’t like our approach, doesn’t like our policies.” But it is not Soros but rather the Hungarian people that gets to decide what kind of government leads Hungary, the minister insisted.