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Repercussions of the Trump-Orbán summit

May 20th, 2019

Two conservative pundits, one critical of the government, the other a firm supporter, debate whether Hungary’s improved diplomatic relations with the US serve the interests of Hungary.

In Válasz, Bálint Ablonczy thinks that the Hungarian government has become ‘the useful idiot’ of the US, China and Russia. The conservative pundit thinks that Hungary has no real interest in strengthening its ties with any of the great powers which, according to Ablonczy, want to weaken the EU. Ablonczy goes so far as to liken the government’s efforts to improve relations to the erstwhile Communists’ subservience to the Soviet Union in foreign relations. Instead of such ‘deferential’ strategy, Ablonczy would expect the Hungarian government to put national interest first, and refrain from playing into the hands of the competitors of the EU.

On Mandiner Kristóf Trombitás believes that it is important to tighten Hungary’s ties to global powers including the US. The conservative blogger contends that given the EU’s deep crisis, and the dispute of Fidesz with the EPP, the government needs to find powerful allies. In Trombitás’s view, President Trump’s invitation shows that, contrary to the claims of the opposition parties, Prime Minister Orbán is not isolated on the international political stage. Trombitás adds that before meeting with President Trump, the Hungarian Prime Minister held talks with Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (see BudaPost May 8). All this, Trombitás concludes, helps the government in its effort to represent Hungarian national interests.

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