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Hungary cannot ignore Washington’s concerns

December 20th, 2011

A veteran left-wing commentator believes Mr Orbán’s government cannot afford to ignore Washington’s concerns over its swift constitutional reforms, if it wants the IMF to open a new credit line for Hungary.

Hungary is the first EU country with whom Washington has engaged in a duel” –  writes Endre Aczél in Népszabadság.

As BudaPost reported earlier, the United States has openly disagreed with some of the pivotal reforms introduced in Hungary over the past 18 months. Recently,  the US Ambassador to Budapest, Eleni Tsakopoulos Kunalakis reiterated those concerns in an article in Heti Válasz, and asked the government to carefully re-examine those warnings before passing pivotal laws to reform the electoral system and the judiciary. Foreign Minister János Martonyi replied in the     latest edition of the weekly, that while he appreciated the concern the US was showing for Hungary’s fate, the exchange of views should continue through traditional (diplomatic) channels. Since then, in an interview, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia told HVG that Washington intends to go public with its criticism.

The Népszabadság commentator believes the European Commission is even tougher on recent Hungarian legislation than the United States. Endre Aczél contends that the IMF won’t support any EU state whose legislation is not in full harmony with the Union Treaty. The United States, on the other hand, is the number one stakeholder in the IMF, so the decision on the credit line requested by Hungary may be preceded by a phone conversation between the Director General and the US Secretary of the Treasury.

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