Outrage over Hungarian president's presence at women’s rights conference in Rwanda

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Novak's comments at a women’s rights conference spark outrage among leading delegates

Hungarian President Katalin Novak an anti-abortionist, shocked some leading delegates with her presence when she spoke at the Women Deliver conference in Kigali, Rwanda.

“We were taken aback,” said conference attendee Bruna Martinez, a Brazilian activist told The Guardian. “We don’t understand why a woman like this would be invited.”

During the discussion, Novak Said electing a woman as president doesn't mean a country has achieved full equality for women, but it is a "very good start". She stressed that in Hungary there are more female college graduates every year than men. "The main challenge women face is the decision between motherhood or a career," Novak replied to a question from one of the panelists. Before Novak became President, she was head of the Political Network for Values, an international organization that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage

Dr. Maliha Khan, President and CEO of Women Deliver has published an open letter saying the conference is “in no way aligned with the views of President Novák” and that she is " glad that there is a backlash". “Women Deliver’s stance on promoting gender equality and women’s rights is unambiguous … We believe in the importance of policies that support equal opportunity for all genders and that challenge traditional gender roles.“The presence of President Novák at the opening ceremony will not change our commitment to these values.”

US adds Hungarian company developing spy software to its economic trade blacklist

The U.S. Commerce Department added two European-based surveillance firms to its economic trade blacklist to counter the misuse of commercial spyware, Reuters reports. One of the blacklisted companies is Cytrox, a Hungary-based surveillance company. These companies were blacklisted "for trafficking in cyber exploits used to gain access to information systems, thereby threatening the privacy and security of individuals and organizations worldwide."

444 found one company named Cytrox in the Hungarian company register, Opten. According to Opten, Cytrox Holding Zrt. was founded in June 2017 and was owned by Rotem Farkas  until 14 April 2021, when it was acquired by Aliada Group Inc., a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. In addition to Farkas, board members included Ivo Malinkovski from northern Macedonia, Avraham Rubinstein from Israel, and at the end of 2017, Yahel Naaman and Esther Nava Peshin, both from Israel, joined the board. Yavon Levgoren, a Canadian resident, became CEO in February 2020, and Artemis Artemiou, a Cypriot, joined the board in April 2021.

Hungarian students could be excluded from Erasmus as early as September

Hungarian universities run by public foundations could be excluded from the Erasmus program as early as this, EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn told Hungarian daily, Népszava.  This contradicts recent statements made by the Commissioner for Education, Tibor Navracsics, who claimed that only the fate of payments starting next September is uncertain.

The Hungarian government is still expected to implement the measures imposed as a condition for unblocking the 6.3 billion euros blocked in the rule of law procedure, Hahn said. Hahn confirmed that they had indeed received the Hungarian package of proposals, but there was nothing new in it, so it was difficult to answer.

"To be honest, I don't know how to react, how to continue the negotiations," he said. We already rang the alarm bell in February and March, and now we are at the point where the Erasmus Plus and Horizon Europe programs are in serious danger," he added.

Szijjarto calls VP of the European Parliament a "Hungarian-hater.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó called Katarina Barley, the Vice President of the European Parliament a "hungarophobe" during a press conference this week. "The suggestion by the 'Hungarian-hating' vice-president of the European Parliament that BMW should move its investment to Romania instead of Hungary is ridiculous, and it is a complete failure to blackmail German companies investing in Hungary", Szijjarto said on Wednesday in Budapest, at a joint press conference with the Yemeni foreign minister.

In response to a question from a Hungarian journalist, about whether there was any threat to the BMW plant in Debrecen, Szijjarto said "The lady is a Hungarian-hating person, suffering from severe Hungarophobia."

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