Orbán government ups pressure on NGOs

Budapest plans to move against NGOs financed from abroad that oppose the Hungarian government. It wants to introduce legislation that would force such institutions, in particular those funded by Hungarian-US investor George Soros, to increase their "financial transparency". The sole purpose of such organisations is to discredit the government, some commentators say. Others fear the growing influence of the Orbán administration.

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Nézőpontok (HU) /

Smear campaigns on Soros' agenda

All the organisations that receive financial backing from Soros have been tasked with casting Hungary's government in a negative light, political scientist Dániel Deák writes on the pro-government blog Nézőpontok:

“There is already a huge amount of literature documenting how much media and political influence George Soros' NGO network has. … Financial support from Soros is tied to high expectations. On the Soros Foundations homepage you can read that the goal of the 'Hungary project' is to permanently establish liberal political thinking in society, whereby these organisations are obliged to exert pressure. … So it's no mere coincidence that these NGOs have repeatedly led concerted smear campaigns against government politicians.”

hvg (HU) /

Hungary must rise up against Fidesz

The influence of the ruling Fidesz party is making itself felt in all areas of daily life, journalist Árpád Tóta W. complains in hvg in view of the government's most recent plans:

“You, too, can come into contact with the regime at any time. Perhaps through a relative who is wasting away on a mouldy hospital bed without painkillers or any kind of assistance. Or some [Fidesz] favourite decides he wants your job, or even more, your business, your house or your wife. And perhaps from one day to the next your whole livelihood is turned upside down. It's banned, nationalised, confiscated and passed on to some relatives of flat-headed would-be substitutes. So where do you go with your complaints? Who pays your lawyer, who helps you to expose the injustice? ... We must rise up against them because we are the majority! Solidarity has won out even in worse times than these.”