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More on Merkel’s visit

February 3rd, 2015
A liberal pundit feels let down by the German Chancellor. She would have expected her to schedule a meeting with critics of the government. A pro-government columnist interprets the Chancellor’s visit as an acknowledgement of the changes Hungary has undergone over the past years.

 On Galamus, Zsófia Mihancsik accuses Angela Merkel of indifference “towards us, Hungarians ruled by Orbán”. She believes the Chancellor should have made a gesture towards the government’s opponents by meeting either opposition politicians or representatives of NGOs known for their critical stance during her visit. But she has chosen to meet none of them. “Not one. For Merkel that other Hungary does not exist.”
In Magyar Nemzet, Szabolcs Szerető says the Chancellor’s visit can be taken as proof that Germany has “taken note of the consequences of the Fidesz electoral victory in 2010, as expressed in the constitutional setup and the government’s economic policies”. In the European Union, he argues, elaborate and binding mechanisms exist to solve divergences of opinion, unlike in relations between the United States and Hungary. This is how he explains the recent diplomatic skirmishes between the government and the US Chargé d’Affaires. With the arrival of the new US ambassador however, Szerető concludes, those controversies have subsided. While the United States has shown that it can easily embarrass the Hungarian government, he suggests, it has not got closer to what he claims is its goal of empowering those political forces which represent its interests within Hungary.

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