Hungary’s spy chief István Pásztor is the new Consul General in New York

In a highly unusual move Hungary has named István Pásztor to the post of Consul General in New York. In the past Pásztor led Hungary’s civilian intelligence services in the rank of general.

Mr. Pásztor as Hungary’s Consul General in New York.

It is puzzling that the Orbán government has appointed a professional soldier, who started his career in Hungary’s military intelligence before moving to civilian spying, to this diplomatic post. In addition, practically nothing is known about him. No bio was published.

From an earlier parliamentary hearing we learned that Pásztor’s agency collected massive amounts of personal information about individuals related “to economic and energy security.” I would not be surprised if Pásztor would utilize this expertise in his new job and collect personal information primarily about the Hungarian Diaspora in the United States.

General István Pásztor (far right in uniform) as Hungary’s top spy.

The Orbán’s regime is getting paranoid; they see enemies – they call them “Soros agents” – everywhere. Hungarian diplomats and their lobbyists were ordered to search for new “friends” who would act as “lobbyists” for the regime. Another important task of Hungarian diplomats in the US is to crush media criticism of Orbán and stifle dissenting voices among Hungarian Americans.

I have a feeling that after Pásztor’s appointment many Hungarian Americans will think twice before contacting diplomats of the Hungarian Consulate in New York. You may never know where your personal information may end up.

György Lázár

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