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PM Orbán briefs Hungary’s ambassadors

August 27th, 2014

Népszabadság thinks Hungarian diplomats in the world will have a hard time explaining the policies of their government because they depart from the international consensus. Magyar Nemzet, on the other hand, suggests that Hungary has to get rid of ideological constraints and be pragmatic in her choices, but the fact that the country belongs to the Western world remains unquestionable.

Addressing the annual conference of Hungary’s ambassadors throughout the world, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán asked them to tell their partners that they should see “the solution in Hungary, rather than the problem”. He said that after a series of monitoring procedures by the EU, Hungary stands “unblemished”. He described Hungary’s foreign policy as pragmatic, and ironically remarked that “ideologically driven policies have been invented by the clever for the dumb.”

In its front page editorial, Népszabadság questions the PM’s assessment of Hungary’s international standing and remarks that Hungary has been in the crossfire of European criticism, with a series of infringement procedures, sharp statements by leading politicians and toughly worded comments in the international press. Népszabadság believes Mr Orbán wants his ambassadors to convince their partners of the truth of his virtual reality, which the left-wing daily describes as “Mission Impossible”.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gábor Stier suggests that the government has “more or less successfully” stabilized the national economy and now intends to place the economy into the centre of its foreign policy. Pragmatism requires Hungary to shake off ideological constraints, he continues, but he denies the allegations “of many, that this amounts to the betrayal of Euro-Atlantic values”. Hungary is not turning its back on the Western alliance, Stier asserts. Politics are influenced by interests, he concludes, “in Hungary just as in those countries from which the loudest critiques of pragmatism originate.”


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