(ANSA) - BUDAPEST, JULY 8 - In Hungary, the law establishing government control on scientific research comes into force today. Under this new law, which the government majority approved last week, the research institutes, which were managed by the Academy of Sciences (MTA) so far, fall now under the control of a public body made up of government-appointed members. The measure is part of Orban's plan to closely control justice, the media, cultural life, and universities. According to technology and innovation minister Laszlo Palkovics, this change was necessary "to increase the efficiency of research, the competitiveness of the country". However, scholars and researchers dispute this argument. By controlling the funding, they said, the government tries to prevent the carrying out of sociological and historical research that criticizes the government's activity. This activity - according to the researchers - leads to an increase in poverty and the falsification of Hungarian history with a nationalistic interpretation. "Orban does not want to hear critical voices, and wants to silence uncomfortable science," said the director of the Institute of Sociological Sciences. According to the president of the Academy Laszlo Lovasz, an exodus of young researchers towards the West could happen. The European Commission said it will monitor the state of research in Hungary, because "any limitation on academic freedom and research is unacceptable". (ANSA).

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