A leading pro-government commentator advocates “wisdom” on the part of the government, to prevent the spread of discontent witnessed at recent rallies. Meanwhile he calls the openly critical attitude of the US Chargé d’Affaires “unprecedented”.
In Magyar Nemzet, Szabolcs Szerető says US Chargé d’Affaires André Goodfriend is pushing his critical attitude even further than “his famous predecessor”, the late Mark Palmer (who as US ambassador to Budapest, actively supported Hungarian liberals during the transition to democracy in 1989-90). Hinting at Mr Goodfriend’s presence at an evening party of leading left-liberal intellectuals, Szerető suggests that the Chargé d’Affaires is slowly becoming “the star of anti-government movements”. He may be a loose cannon, he speculates, but Washington’s goal is clear. If there is no chance of toppling the Orbán government, then destabilization is the way to political adjustment, a slowdown in Eastern Opening, weakening the Russian connection and enforcing America’s interests.”
Szerető warns however that “American conspiracy” alone could not have produced the repeated mass demonstrations of the past weeks, with tens of thousands of new actors who are “a grave threat for the repeatedly defeated left-wing opposition as well”. (For left-liberal misgivings about the attitudes of the demonstrators, see BudaPost, November 19.) Whether the wave of protest will subside or at least not spread and involve further groups of society, Szerető concludes, “depends on the wisdom of the government”.