Hungarian leaders see hysteria among critics of reforms

U.S., EU fear threats to freedoms

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“Outside observers note the rules for religions to gain recognition are prohibitively cumbersome, and the requirement for two-thirds approval by Parliament unnecessarily politicizes decisions surrounding a basic human right,” Mrs. Clinton wrote.

Such complaints are off the mark, according to Mr. Kovacs, who came to Washington last month to combat “distorted” views of Hungary’s new laws.

He called on world leaders to recognize that, while Hungary is a truly committed EU member, “we’re trying to solve our problems without help.”

“Give us a chance,” he said.

The new churches law, for instance, is less political than a means to clean up a sloppy system that had allowed 300 churches to receive state funds, he said.

The new media law, Mr. Kovacs added, is similarly designed to clean up mismanagement.

“It’s easy to suggest, from an American point of view, that the media law is something evil,” he said, but it’s less about curbing freedom than “rethinking” poorly structured regulatory bodies.

Similar reasoning justifies the new judicial law, he added, explaining that the retirement age for judges was lowered to combat an overly socialistic pension system.

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About the Author
Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.

His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.

Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...

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