US Ambassador Colleen Bell has said that former President Bill Clinton is a private individual and expressed his personal opinion when he described the Hungarian and Polish governments as “Putin-type leaders”, suggesting he doesn't reflect the views of the United States government.
She also said corruption in Hungary is of such an extent as to be worrying.
In a lecture given at the Central European University in Budapest, the ambassador outlined the standpoint of the United States in the areas of migration, security and foreign affairs.
She said that corruption is a problem on a global scale and it weakens the rule of law, holds back growth and suffocates innovation and investment.
The population feel cheated when their taxes end up in the pockets of public servants, elected officials and their families instead of going towards the services and security for which they are paying, she added.
Responding to a reporter’s question concerning former President Bill Clinton’s recent remarks describing the Hungarian and Polish governments as “Putin-type leaders”, she said that the former US President is a private individual and expressed his personal opinion.
In response to a student’s question about claims that Hungary’s media have become propaganda tools and were under government pressure, she said the free press is very important and the US supports a free press in the entire region.
While stressing the legal requirement of respecting asylum-seekers’ rights, she acknowledged that protecting and securing the country’s borders is an obligation. She also voiced her support for the agreement concluded between the European Union and Turkey, arguing that the influx of refugees can be best prevented by securing better access to jobs and education in countries where they are currently staying.