The Hungarian government turns up the heat on the NGOs

Yesterday I wrote about Viktor Orbán’s pro-Russian policy, which does not endear him to Washington. Another sore point is the Hungarian treatment of certain NGOs and the attacks of late on independent organizations that receive money from the Norwegian Civic Fund. Barack Obama specifically mentioned the importance of NGOs as watchdogs over rogue states like Hungary. One would think that Viktor Orbán might try to mend fences with the U.S. by retreating a bit on this issue and not pursuing the controversial attacks on the Ökotárs Foundation, the distributor of the Norwegian Civic Funds. But no, these attacks have shifted into even higher gear.

In May the government ordered KEHI (Kormányzati Ellenőrző Hivatal = State Audit) to investigate the case. The Norwegians consider the investigation illegal because in their opinion the money Ökotárs distributed among several NGOs was not part of the Hungarian budget. The money never entered the Hungarian treasury in any way. The funds came straight from an office entrusted with the task located in Brussels.

If the Hungarian government had wanted to remove at least this particular sore point from the agenda, they could have quietly dropped the case and simply forgotten about the report KEHI prepared. Or they could have come out with a very mild reprimand for some lax practices. But Viktor Orbán wouldn’t be Viktor Orbán if he had chosen that path. Instead, yesterday KEHI released its 40-page report in which it accused Ökotárs of mismanagement, fraud, forgery of private documents, and unauthorized financial activities.

As usual, Magyar Nemzet was the first publication to write about the report. Their initial article indicated that the KEHI document is already in the hands of János Lázár. From that point on Magyar Nemzet kept publishing shocking reports about the frivolous items these NGOs spent their money on. The one that caused the greatest uproar was the purchase of tampons. It turned out that the Kékpont Foundation was guilty of this particular crime. The foundation, which deals with drug addicts, gave “motivational” hygienic packages to the addicts, and the tampons were in packages distributed to the women. All these stories came out in Magyar Nemzet before the report was made available to the Ökotárs Foundation.

Yesterday at last the document itself appeared on KEHI’s website. Okotárs over the years distributed 500 million forints and KEHI found something wrong with 200 million worth of the grants. Actually, the questionable items amounted to only 10 million (about $41,000). Yet Lázár is outraged and wants to renegotiate the contract with the Norwegian government. He promptly invited the “appropriate Norwegian minister” to Hungary for a friendly chat. Then, perhaps realizing the absurdity of his suggestion, he added that after all he would be ready to meet the Norwegian politician in Brussels.

Norwegian flag

What will Lázár tell the “appropriate Norwegian minister”? Norway should break the contract with the Ökotárs Foundation since it is not worthy of Norway’s trust. The funds should be distributed by “state or private organizations.” The English translation of the report will be sent to the Norwegian ambassador in Budapest as well as to the European Commission.

But not all accusations are in the KEHI report. Népszabadság reported that investigators at KEHI complained about Veronika Móra’s frequent meetings with American diplomats as well as her visits to the Norwegian embassy. These kinds of contacts are suspect in the eyes of the regime, as we know from Viktor Orbán’s “illiberal” speech in Romania.

Meanwhile Magyar Nemzet kept attacking both the Norwegian government and Ökotárs. Yesterday morning an article appeared in the paper which claimed, on the basis of information coming from KEHI, that Ökotárs passed on important documents for safekeeping to the Norwegian embassy. And that is not all. Officials at the embassy postdated certain documents. While KEHI investigators were at it, they decided to accuse the Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) that handles the Norwegian funds in Brussels of complicity because its official suggested to Ökotárs that it move all its documents out of Hungary.

Late last night journalists from more independent media outlets began looking at the findings of KEHI. András Földes of Index observed that only in history books could one find examples of such accusations that used to lay the groundwork for show trials in the Rákosi period. And, he added, “the officials are actually proud of it.” The proof presented to the journalists did not convince them, but they surmised that the officials of KEHI simply did what was expected of them by the Hungarian government. The results were preordained. Without going into the details, the KEHI officials, by pasting together parts of different sentences, actually falsified the intended meaning of Ökotárs’s CEO. The reporter for Index cites several dubious practices of KEHI that call into question the validity of the charges.

In light of the above it is no surprise that Veronika Móra, CEO of Ökotárs, said to MTI today that it is impossible to respond to “accusations that are not supported by facts.” If the KEHI officials found irregularities, they should have described them precisely, but in the document one finds only generalizations. It is full of phrases like: “it also happened,” “there was also such a case.” Ökotárs is ready to go to court and hopes for a favorable verdict.

As for the Norwegian response to the publication of the KEHI report, according to a brief English-language article on the Norwegian internet site, The Local, the Norwegian government already considered the KEHI probe illegal and it is unlikely that after this most likely fraudulent report they will change their minds. It is worth quoting some passages from this article:

Hungary’s squeeze on foreign-funded NGOs has been criticized by Norway and the United States…. US President Barack Obama last month included Hungary in a list of countries where “endless regulations and overt intimidation increasingly target civil society.”…  Relations between the US and Hungary sank further last week when Washington issued entry bans to six unnamed Hungarian government officials it suspected of corruption. The US charge d’affaires in Budapest, Andre Goodfriend, told AFP on Tuesday that “intimidation of civil society” as well as “centralisation of authority, lack of transparency, and corruption” could prevent the US continuing as an ally of Hungary.

Norway was tough all along but now it must feel even more hardened since the United States is supporting its stance on this matter.

83 comments

  1. Eva what a wonderful summary of that mass of information and thanks for the link to the report, no doubt reading through it will cause me to drink excessive amounts of beer to contain my anger.

  2. Re: giving their documents to the Norwegians for safekeeping. That sounds like a best practice to me, honestly. Clearly no internal correspondence is safe.

  3. Not a word about the Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution,,,,whats wrong whith you guys!!!!Tisztelet a Hősöknek!

  4. The KEHI report is based upon a period of 2008 to 2014 April 30. And the total amount is EUR 40K. This amount is totally immaterial divided over a period of 6 years and four months.. Btw how can the KEHI do a proper job in one day (according to the their report).

    It seems that Fidesz did not learn from their mistakes. They imprisoned the Japanese Suzuki CEO and his Deputies for USD 75,000 that was some how lost in 1998 to 2002.

  5. @Attila, don’t preach to me about what is right and what is not when it comes to October 23. I had a role, however modest, in that revolution and I find you, young punk, to say anything about that day revolting. Sorry! What do you know about that day? Nothing, if one listens to the speeches delivered by the criminals who are in power today one becomes sick,. Shame on these people and shame on you,.

  6. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.matthew7.2
    De a puszta gyűlölet csak puszta gyűlöletet gerjeszt, és így valóban életre kel majd a jóslat, (ami talán már életre is kelt) miszerint “magyar a magyarnak lesz farkasa”. Hát ne legyen! Én nem leszek. Ha mindenáron szerepet kell választanom, inkább a bárány leszek, de magyarba nem harapok.,,,shame on you traitor.devider,manipulator,lier,,

  7. @Eva,

    I think the boys in the basement draw lots and they get to castigate–no matter how idiotically–
    elements of this blog. Just for fun; or, as my buddies at Connaught Raceway used to say, “juste
    pour le fun”.

    If Charles Darwin would be alive today, he’d have to junk all his stuff on the advancement of the species….had be but examined that creature known as “Magyar”!

    Poor Charles, he must be spinning in his grave…

  8. Very democratic move Eva..who is not your oppinion should be banned,,from here,,that’s nearly shows dictatorial character,,,I came here whith no bad intention,,,,but stop to devide,,,your brothers and sisters,,ps,your generation is a dying species,my generation is the future,,

  9. Speaking of the Bible,

    As I heard in my family,
    most Hungarians in 1956 kept at least one commandment:

    Lo Tignov = Thou shalt not steal

    Today, Orban’s kleptors openly flaunt their impunity for stealing.

    from a future Wikipedia article:

    “Kleptor orbanensis = Polt-enabled species in the Holocene of the Carpathian basin.

    They devastated large areas where and when they dominated the food chain.”

  10. Attila,

    Perhaps you have something to add to the subject matter Eva posted? You did not bring up a different opinion but try to lecture people who could be parents of your parents. What does Matthew teach about that?

  11. I guess some people need to learn to distinguish between expressing a difference of opinion and an insult.

  12. Sunyilo. “Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.”
    – Oscar Wilde
    Not hate but dislike..
    I have nothing to add anymore to the matter..,just feel sorry for her,,,

  13. In which case, Atilla, why not just get your own blog and quit posting here? You obviously have nothing to contribute.

  14. Yes gdfxx to you it seems the the Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution a insult,,maybe we should remember today instead again the holocaust,and tomorow to,,and daily we should remember holocaust ,,you would like that gdfxx head teacher,,,,,you are the insult,ps Julie attila not atilla.you should know this as the blog called hungarian spectrum

  15. I am just now reading the summary section of the KEHI report and it is simply astoundingly crude. Very early on the report it accuses an unnamed member or members of the Norwegian Embassy staff of falsifying documents once the KEHI investigation began, but as yet no attempt has been made by the Hungarian government to expel these devious Norwegians. Probably because there is no actual evidence provided hence the KEHI claims it was only “likely” that these crooked Norwegians did these things.

    In the USA we have a phrase for this type of investigation, it’s called a “hatchet job” meaning the investigation chops up every thing so well the truth can’t be determined from reading the report.

    Eva, a vér akár több mint a 56 megjegyzés, te egy igazi magyar.

  16. I doubt that any decent person would question Eva S. Balogh’s intentions when it comes to the 1956 revolution. She does not need excuses.

  17. Alá szolgája, Acika…

    Time to send Acika back to his sanctimonious sandbox. The Attilas of this world can have one or two cracks at saying their say, but, that done, they just become increasingly abusive nuisances. Basta. Bye-bye. (The only reason Eva has not yet shown him the door is that she is much too busy doing much more important things. So expect our little Acika to do a little more acting out and to sputter some more venomous bigotry before he gets the boot — only to return under another pseudo, if he’s obsessive-compulsive too…)

  18. …and of course the inevitable lapse into holocussing was the most predictable of all — always lurking around the corner in such endearing malcontents, alongside the sanctimony — endless source of insight and inspiration…

  19. I certainly understand Eva’s reaction. I may not be Hungarian but I sure understand that it’s difficult (that’s an understatement) to associate 56 with today’s Hungary and its government.

  20. Speaking of anniversaries of revolutions, have you already seen this: http://propeller.hu/itthon/3007240-sajokapolnan-holnap-megunneplik-1848-oktober ? The mayor of Sajókápolna invited patriotic citizens to “the anniversary of the 1848 revolution” which was celebrated yesterday, in other words, confused the dates of the 1848 and 1956 revolutions. (BTW, the stamp with the coat-of-arms, Holy Crown and all, is upside down. Isn’t this sacrilege?)
    As for Attila not Atilla, he seems to represent a similar level of education. Preaching about the orthography of Hungarian names with his interpunction and English grammar… If this is the new generation in Hungary (which doesn’t sound so unrealistic, considering what I keep hearing about the strengthening influence of Jobbik among students), that’s really sad enough.

  21. I have a relative who works for NAV, the tax authority. He goes out to do on-site audits when the authority suspects that there might be some suspicious activity by some company.

    But the crazy thing is this: He’s told that in order to justify the expense of her traveling there and spending time on the audit, he’s REQUIRED to find something incriminating in the company’s records, whether it’s actually there or not. So just him being called out to investigate a company is a guilty sentence for the party involved, and involves a fine. It’s an awful job and he hates it, but it’s a job and he has a mortgage, so what are you going to do…

    So anyway if the pressure is on ordinary NAV workers to find something incriminating on a company being investigated, can you imagine the pressure on KEHI workers to find something wrong with Ökotárs when they’re being requested by the top government officials in Hungary??

    I’m sure they’re quite aware that if they hadn’t found anything incriminating about Ökotárs they’d all be out of a job tomorrow….

  22. Brainwashing:

    This is what an average Hungarian hears day by day INSTEAD of the facts about Fidesz thievery:

    Headlines from the NEWSREEL of the pro-government TV2 television channel, which has the second largest viewership in Hungary:

    “Ice cream can be dangerous”
    “Falling dog almost hit her head”
    “Chimney threatened the pupils”
    “New giraffe has to make friends”
    “Died at a worm hunt”
    “Cow hairstylist in Debrecen”
    “Parrots chat huddled together”
    “Buffalo love triangle”
    “Babies cry”
    “Shoveled snow and died”
    “Slugs eat each other”
    “Bus stop speaks too loudly”
    “Denture on the streetcar”

    “Rats and mice in the house”
    “Students do not like chemistry”
    “Patients are afraid of roaming horses”
    “Vermin teemed everywhere”
    “Owl feigns death”
    “Lion cubs are always hungry”
    “Chestnuts are small and few”
    “Grandmother was locked in the bus”
    “Dogs and cats were blessed”
    “Foul cat smell in the house”
    “Children cannot swim”
    “Couples cheat on each other”
    “Robber’s finger was bitten”
    “Hungarians drink too much mineral water”
    “2 million stone Satan”
    “Parrot whistles film music”
    “Cat beauty groped”
    “Harpist plays to orangutans”
    “Bloodsucking bedbugs invaded the house”
    “Policemen chased the young boar”
    “Swallow feces cover everything”

    http://kepek.444.hu/2014/10/24/magyarorszag-legszurrealisabb-arcat-mutatja-be-a-tv2-hiradoja/
    http://lastdaysoftenyek.tumblr.com/

  23. OT:

    The US Embassy is going to have a press conference today at 1:30pm CET. I wonder what could be so important that they’ve scheduled it on a non-working day.

    Also, I’ve heard Viktor Orbán has also scheduled a press conference today, also at 1:30.

    Coincidence??

  24. The quality of reporting and analysis on this site is as high as one could possibly wish or imagine. Reserving the right to comment to those possessed of a modicum of civility and intelligence would seem altogether appropriate. Brava, Eva!

  25. @jon van til, agreed although I wonder how long Petofi would be permitted to contribute his vile rants if he was still a Fidesz supporter?

  26. The war against NGOs is straight from Russian play books, it worked there perfectly. So Orban and Lázár think it will work in Hungary too.

    I think what the ‘advisors’ (including I’m assuming some of the government-related trolls here) didn’t think of yet is the spy angle — just to make the case even more reminescent of the 1950’s.

    That’s because they overlooked the relevant laws. Or probably not, but they chose not to pursue that avenue, at least for the time being.

    Even to ‘keep regular contacts’ with a foreign government is hazaárulás (the betrayal of the home country, punishable by up to 12 years of imprisonment, still better than in the US) if the goal is to damage the Hungarian constitutional order. Of course whether such intent was there needs very thorough analysis and ultimately only the judiciary is in a position to render a binding opinion on that one…

    Given the ludicrous cases which the government (chief prosecutor Polt Peter is part of the government even if he is pretending to be independent, which I guess Fidesz is selling to foreigners) brought against many ‘troublemakers’ (let’s just mention the UD Zrt. case in which the victims are being tried for the second time now or the Horvath Andras tax case in which he is the subject of not one, but two separate investigations) I would not be surprized if the fideszniks decided to go against some senior Ökotárs people in earnest.

    Orban and Lázár seriously think this is a war and any means is allowed.

    I think the spy angle would all the more logical according to the Fidesz/Russian minds as a preemtive strike (of course it didn’t work last time, so I guess there are big debates now).

    Given that according to many journalists Fidesz is regularly using the intelligence services for its own political purposes and friendly Russian advisers now abound in Hungary fideszniks could start this media hysteria about American (Norwegians) etc. spies in order to replace and preempt the discourse about their own shinanigans.

    Given the planned increase of salaries for the security branches for 2015 (that also sounds like a Russian idea), Orban is preparing to escalate further.

  27. Re: following Russian successful NGO strategy: One size does not necessarily fit all

    There was a joke way back when about Arab/Israeli wars. Nasser was doing a post-mortem of his defeats with Russian advisers and told them he was at a loss to understand what went wrong. The Egyptian army fully followed the successful Russian war strategy; they let the enemy’s armies advance deep and waited for General Winter to play its magic and defeat them.

    Istvan will probably appreciate!

  28. Thanks to An, I suddenly realized that I have not finished the my story about my experiences in 56. Well, maybe one day when we run out of current topics I will continue the story. Although Orbán & Co.make sure that it does not happen too often.

  29. @Eva S. Balogh – I would be very interested in your take on the lack of lustration under the current regime. Lustration is, after all, something they promised on several occasions. I realize the topic is a big one – one that needs an article to cover (if not a book!) – so I will not be bothered in the least if you choose not to address it.

  30. @Sentrooppa-Santra
    Seems that Orbán’s ‘illiterate state’ prevails, after all.

    Somehow its rather puzzling: aren’t the Russians invaded Hungary and crushed the revolution? Aren’t the Russians our “best friends” at the moment?

    Or we are supposed to turn the Orbanian logic around and say they were Soviets, but not Russians..? (Remember, They were the Germans who attacked Hungary, not the Nazis, according to the wise leader.)

    The most important, however, that it was all the fault of the US, as we learned recently from Gergely Gulyás, so it must be OK to get into bed with the invaders of Hungary, isn’t it?

    Any slimy slug must be proud of the Hungarian (grand)children of the Revolution, indeed…

  31. @Szabolcs – judging from the “analysis” on Hir t.v. last night, and the headlines on Index today, the boys in the backroom already thought of the spy line (I trust they didn’t get the idea from you!) They’re now blaming the CIA for “trapping” 6 high-ranking Hungarians in the corruption scandal. This is truly weird, because they are still saying they don’t know what the whole thing is about, and that they don’t know who has been banned from travelling to the States.
    On Hir TV last night, after claiming it’s all a CIA plot, a secret service analyst said that to improve relations between the two countries “the ball’s in the Americans’ court now,” and that as a minimum President Obama should invite PM Orban to the White House.
    I suppose the arrest and expulsion of five or six American citizens is being contemplated, possibly along with a demand that the current Chargé d’Affairs be replaced (this was hinted at last night – I suspect Mr. Goodfriend would not mind in the least. He deserves a little break, and promotion).
    If the Hungarian government take this line to its logical conclusion, it will pull the country out of NATO fairly quickly.

  32. I have finally gotten through the KEHI report and what is most disturbing is that it is really so short and rambling, yet it makes explicit recommendations for “prosecution for the crime of embezzlement.” None of the critical emails that KEHI claim show that the Norwegian embassy falsified documents are attached, none of the critical ledger entries are attached, there simply are no PDF reproductions of the evidence in the KEHI report.

    Ultimately the KEHI also has auditing responsibility for non-social projects funded with EU cohesion funds, these are far more significant than the social funds. Given the low quality of this report and the gravity of the claims made against the Norwegian embassy the European Commission’s implementing regulation for the Structural and Cohesion Funds require consistency of auditing procedures of member states the Commission probably should consider suspending the authority of KEHI in relation to all EU funded projects immediately. Specifically this provision (COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1828/2006) appears to have been violated: “Experience has shown that it is necessary to set out in detail the basis for the sampling of operations to be audited, which the audit authority should observe in establishing or approving the sampling method, including certain technical criteria to be used for a random statistical sample and factors to be taken into account for a complementary sample.”

    No such detail on the rational of the sampling method used is clearly established in this report.

  33. It is funny that the KEHI report accuses Okotars with mismanagement of funds, while publishing a report prepared so poorly that it would not be able get a passing mark at a university course. Submitting such report without proper supporting documents, arrive to conclusions without facts would be pulled even from wikipedia. One must ask, how much this report cost to the Hungarian taxpayers, as the money going to the NGOs cost nothing!

  34. I am pro-Petofi, and disagree with the cautious pro-appeasement attitude of HiBOM.

    Perhaps, HiBOM can share some elements of his plan against the dictatorship under Orban.

  35. another pro-Petofi vote from me, even though he can be a bit of a loose cannon. His heart is in the right place (and he has one). His hyperbole is partly stylistic, partly temperamental, but he knows how to turn it off and get realistic when necessary…

  36. Orban is fighting back. He says that given that Hungary is a country based on the rule of law (I hope you don’t miss the irony) he cannot do anything as there’s no evidence against those mysterious six.

    If the Americans provide evidence, then there will be a legal procedure. If not, then not. End of story. (Let’s leave aside the fact that Andras Horvath provided ample evidence a year ago and instead he is being investigated.)

    Meanwhile Tamas Deutsch also supported Laszlo Köver’s argument about the decline of the West and the potential of leaving the EU. Gergely Gulyas also attacked the Americans.

    This is a concerted effort and a clear message that Orban just doesn’t give a sh**t about the dumb Americans and the clueless Europeans. He is strong and despite Nick Thorpe baseless article on BBC (I really have no idea where he got his info from, or who could tell him to write this BS) he has the backing of his most trusted underlings.

    His message is that if Hungary leaves the NATO and or the EU it will be the loss for the West because such exit would undermine the West’s historic stature. In other words, it is the West which needs Hungary. This is a political blackmail, but it is supported by Russia’s assurances and its already deep involvement in Hungarian political affairs.

    I think Orban is also indirectly being advised by his Republican lobbyists who predict that Obama will be a lame duck soon and as such irrelevant (the Democrats are set to lose the Senate too) and so the administration for all practical purposes will cease to function.

    Although people may say that the Republicans are more hard-liners when it comes to Russia, the thing is the Republicans are more open to money as well. If Orban’s lobbyists pay enough to the influential ones, Hungary’s case will be buried in the burocracy and in any case they have no idea where Hungary is. There’s a many year long learning curve until the Republicans get up to speed on Hungary and during those years Orban’s will make South Stream/Paks etc. irrevocable. Orban will have won. A same learning curve will naturally apply if Goodfriend will be replaced.

    I find it cruelly ironic how Zsolt Nemeth and Anita Orban fed the US embassy (as we know from wikileaks) info about the terrible collision between Gyurcsany and the Russians and now it is Fidesz which is chaining Hungary to Mother Russia. The aggressivity of his efforts to sell Hungary to the Russians is really weird, even by Orban’s aggressive take no prisoner style standards.

    It’s madness, but it seems that Russians could somehow better persuade Orban than the Americans or the Europeans could.

  37. @HiBoM:

    I don’t always agree with petofi – sometimes he is too harsh, but he’s always honest!

    Compare him to those stupid dishonest lying trolls like attila (just look at how he lost his “contenance” after being criticised …) with their Kindergarten-logic, always trying to divert, never staying on topic and you’ll see that he is an honest person!

    PS:

    To call Eva a traitor would “merit” more than a slap on the hand – the good side of this is that you can see immediately where attila belongs, just like bob,Johnny, Joe and all the others …

  38. About Veronika Mora, the Okotars NGO leader “going regularly into the US embassy for meetings”.

    Dear Istvan, in your opinion, if in the United States an NGO leader often goes into the Russian embassy to have regular meetings, wouldn’t that raise a few eyebrows? Wouldn’t you say that there is a chance, maybe 50% that such an NGO leader is a national security risk to the United States? Especially if in public life, she acts 100% in accordance with Russian interests as well.

    After all how would the NGO leader even know whether she talks to a real diplomat or a handler assigned to her, who is trying to recruit her to betray her country and commit treason? Could she spot the difference as a layperson? And even if there is only a chance that she will eventually say yes, isn’t that a problem? Wouldn’t even the chance be considered a national security risk in your opinion?

  39. @risk. So, in your opinion the United States is the same as Putin’s Russia. The US is an ally of Hungary while Russia is planning to gobble up half of Europe.

  40. @risk:

    Are you the newest troll here?

    Was it your job to supervise Veronika Mora, the Okotars NGO leader and write down in your little black book when she was going into the US embassy for meetings?

    Insane …

  41. @Elek, Harnad, Wolfi….thanks for the vote.

    HiBoM–“Vile”? Never. Angry? Yes. Please try to appreciate the difference.

    There can be no courteous discourse with Fidesz mentality–it seeks to destroy those they can’t convince and control.

    It is impossible not to get angry when every good impulse of our education–our whole belief structure of an ever-improving civilization–has been denigrated simply on the word of a megalomaniac. This is serious. We, who are older, can defend ourselves, but what about the young?

    Hasn’t this already happened in the Germany of the 1930’s?

  42. “Okotárs over the years distributed 500 million forints and KEHI found something wrong with 200 million worth of the grants. Actually, the questionable items amounted to only 10 million (about $41,000).”

    There is something false in every sentence in the above. It is probably a mistranslation from somewhere. Ökotárs in total distributed billions it is only most recently they distributed 500 million. This is in the distribution phase that is in progress right now. That they currently want to continue! In this latest phase they illegally distributed 200 million (referred to as”found something wrong euphemism”). And they criminally stole, embezzled, tens of millions so “only 10 million” is a totally fake number. For the “tens of millions” worth of embezzlement and theft a criminal case will be launched into the corrupt practices of Ökotárs foundation.

    Now bear in mind that Ökotárs forged documents, destroyed evidence, backdated, altered and manufactured non-existing documents after the investigation already started. With these tactics they managed to hide most of their criminal actions and theft but not all.

    I don’t believe Ökotárs is so perfect and so clean as some people try to portray them.

  43. Risk I thought the presumption was that the USA and Hungary are NATO allies hence consideration of NGOs visits to our embassy should pose minimal security risks to Hungary. However, if Hungary is contemplating withdrawing from NATO and creating a defense agreement with the Russian Federation then clearly such visits could constitute a security risk. As readers of this blog well know I favor suspending Hungary from NATO, as do others in my country who view Hungary as a Trojan Horse for Putin in NATO.

    But for the moment cooler heads prevail in relationship to NATO membership, especially given the problems withTurkey.

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