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Opposition dilemmas ahead of Putin’s visit

January 13th, 2015

A left-wing analyst calls opposition plans to protest against the planned visit of the Russian president absurd. He argues that parties of the Left may legitimately demand to be informed and involved, but opposing negotiations would not be worthy of parties who want one day to govern.

In Népszava, Gyula Hegyi, a veteran journalist and former Socialist MEP condemns an idea put forward by the small left-liberal PM (Dialogue for Hungary) party to stage a joint opposition demonstration against Mr Putin’s officially still unannounced visit to Budapest in March this year. (See BudaPost, January 10.) Without mentioning PM by name, he warns that such a demonstration may perhaps suit radical NGOs, but not parties who consider themselves challengers to the current governing forces. Fidesz used to oppose the “Eastern policies” of previous Socialist governments, he recalls, and cautions the Socialists against “a similar turnaround”. Reducing the intensity of the international crisis concerning Russia is in Hungary’s basic interest, Hegyi explains. Governments led by Social Democrats in Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well as the Austrian Grand Coalition are quietly working to build relations with Russia and so should Hungary’s Left. They should demand to be informed or even included in the protocol, and work out their own proposals on how to harmonise loyalty to our western allies with the eastern partnership, he suggests. In his concluding remarks, Hegyi argues that Russia ultimately belongs to ‘the westernised world’ and has obvious common interests with the west facing the terrorist threat.


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