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Orbán meets Merkel in Berlin

July 7th, 2018

Commentators agree that the tensions between the two leaders persist but believe that it is in the interests of both to dampen the controversy.

On HVG online, Richárd Tóth reads the joint press conference held by Ms Merkel and Mr Orbán on Thursday as a show of politeness by two leaders who live in parallel universes. The Hungarian Prime Minister refrained from playing the role of the ‘tough guy’, while Ms Merkel thought it wise to avoid confrontation with a man who entertains good relations with Mr Seehofer, the German Interior Minister who is pushing for tougher migration policies. On the contrary, the German Chancellor wanted to show her people that she does not oppose a law-and-order based approach to mass immigration, Tóth writes, quoting an earlier comment by political analyst Péter Krekó on the same site.

Magyar Hírlap’s Péter Ulicza describes the German-Hungarian summit as a meeting between the loser and the winner of the European debates on immigration. However, both leaders feel that they do no longer need to battle one another. Ms Merkel has given up the idea of mandatory migration quotas, while Mr Orbán knows that the Union has adopted his own stance that Europe’s outer borders must be protected and that people in need must be assisted in their home countries. Once the people of Europe do not have to worry about millions flooding into their countries, they can at last focus on alleviating the problems of Africa and the Middle East, Ulicza writes.

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