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Germany concerned by Hungary's curbs on foreign-funded NGOs

Associated Press logo Associated Press 14/06/2017

BERLIN — The German government has expressed concern about a law passed by Hungary's parliament that regulates civil society groups.

The bill passed Tuesday requires groups that receive more than 7.2 million forints ($26,200) a year from abroad to register and publicize the fact.

The law is nominally meant to increase transparency among civic groups, but critics say it is part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's efforts to stifle dissent and increase control over public discourse.

Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer says Germany is "very concerned" by the law as it suggests that Hungary views foreign funding of civil groups as a "hostile, or at least unfriendly, act."

Schaefer told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that Germany would watch closely what impact the new law has on civil society in Hungary.

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