Hungarian prime minister says civic groups financed from abroad are serving foreign interests

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Hungary's prime minister says that certain civic groups financed from abroad are holding back the nation's development.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban says "paid political activists" in the groups are trying to obstruct efforts to increase Hungary's competitiveness.

Orban's government has branded several civic groups as "leftist" and is involved in a dispute with Norway over their financing. The Norway Grants program provides money to projects in areas such as environmental protection or social development in Hungary and other less-developed countries in the European Union.

Orban's speech on Saturday in the Romanian town of Baile Tusnad, where most residents are ethnic Hungarians and is known in Hungarian as Tusnadfurdo, was broadcast live on Hungarian state radio.