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US steps up pressure on Hungary over corruption

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US steps up pressure on Hungary over corruption


The United States is continuing its pressure on Hungary over alleged corruption, in a row which has already seen several Hungarian citizens denied entry into the US.

The United States claimed it had credible information that those people are either engaging in or benefitting from corruption.

Euronews’ correspondent in Budapest, Andrea Hajagos, points out that aside from these alleged corruption cases, the United States has also criticised many reforms introduced by Viktor Orban’s conservative government.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called on the US to publish its evidence. But Washington’s man in Budapest said there are already sufficient warning signs.

“The government of Hungary could choose to act upon the information that has already been presented to it by either watchdogs, by private citizens, by whistleblowers, by civil society, and act upon that information according to the wishes of its own citizens, rather than waiting for the United States to tell it which case is to investigate,” said
André Goodfriend, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy.

Washington has already said that its travel bans were not targetted solely at Hungary, something that does not surprise analysts at an influential Washington think-tank.

“The very troublesome development is that these tendencies are spreading across the region. There is a growing sense that corruption, democratic backsliding, ineffective and an often biased judiciary and other signs of these tendencies are putting these gains, these democratic gains, into question,” said Simona Kordosova of the Atlantic Council.

An overall trend in eastern Europe or not, Hungary sees the US move as a challenge to the country’s “general democratic values”.

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