Prime Minister Viktor Orbán employs Putin-like methods, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony told the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
As reported by HVG, the online event dealt with the rule of law in Central Europe. Accordingly, the mayors of the capital cities of the V4 countries gave an accounting of problems with the rule of law in their respective countries.
In his five-minute opening speech delivered in English, Gergely Karácsony emphasized that Viktor Orbán had exploited the dissatisfaction of Hungarian society to build a “hybrid” regime.
The mayor addressed, among other things, the election law, the new constitution, attacks on civil society and the media, and foreign policy developments of concern, such as drastically-increased cooperation with Beijing and Moscow in cases like the Budapest-Belgrade railway line or the Paks 2 nuclear power plant.
Karácsony also mentioned László Kövér’s recently leaked speech to national security officials and the use of Pegasus surveillance software to spy on civilians. The actions of Hungary’s government do not reflect the values of the country, he said, adding that the government imposed restrictions on municipal governments after the most recent municipal elections didn’t totally go their way.
The four mayors were asked questions following their speeches, with Karácsony stressing that Orbán should not be equated with the Hungarian people and that the Chinese government is acting as a Trojan Horse within the EU.