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Angela Merkel to visit Budapest

December 3rd, 2014

Commenting on Angela Merkel’s announced visit to Budapest, a left-wing columnist suggests that the German chancellor wants to pressurise PM Orbán to abandon what he calls his pro-Russian course. A conservative commentator believes that the German chancellor understands Hungary’s position.

Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Budapest will be “the last chance” for PM Orbán “to abandon the pro-Russian course”, András Dési in Népszabadság comments on Angela Merkel’s February visit to Budapest announced last weekend. The left-wing columnist reads the Chancellor’s visit as proof that Germany does not want to isolate Hungary but rather reintegrate it into the Western alliance. Echoing German commentaries, Dési believes that Merkel’s primary aim in Budapest will be to convince PM Orbán of the need for extending the economic sanctions against Russia and building an EU energy union.

In Magyar Hírlap, Gyula T. Máté says the Hungarian Left has been hoping that Merkel will not visit PM Orbán, or if she were to come, she would teach him a lesson. The conservative columnist believes that the sanctions against Russia will surely be one of the topics to be discussed, but the German Chancellor will not be too harsh on Hungary. Angela Merkel was also criticized for being pro-Russian when she supported the North Stream pipeline, and so she understands the Orbán government’s interest in maintaining good ties with Russia, Hungary’s  main energy supplier, Máté notes. He adds that German firms that have to incur losses due to the sanctions against Russia are also pressurising Angela Merkel. The sanctions against Russia are not in the interest of either Germany or Hungary, and only serve US interests, Máté claims.

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