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Opposing takes on PM Orbán’s ‘State of the Nation’ address

February 21st, 2023

The Prime Minister’s annual address to his faithful supporters on Saturday is seen as full of contradictions by a left-wing pundit, while a pro-government commentator describes it as reassuring in an uncertain world.

Népszava editor Péter Németh dismisses Mr Orbán’s claim that Hungary and the Vatican are the only two states that constitute a ‘peace camp’ in the current situation, while the rest of the western alliance opt for continuing the war in Ukraine. He regrets in particular that the Prime Minister is increasingly blunt in his criticism of the Biden administration, when suggesting, for instance, that the name of US ambassador David Pressman symbolises the pressure Washington is putting on the Hungarian government to make it fall in line with the ‘pro-war’ majority.

By contrast, Magyar Nemzet’s Ottó Gajdics feels safer after the Prime Minister’s address. He praises Mr Orbán for clearly identifying the twin threats that the country is facing – the war in Ukraine, and inflation and for mapping out his strategy to confront them. Siding with Ukraine in order to defeat the aggressor, he writes, doesn’t make one a good person, as that stand only prolongs the suffering of millions of people. What makes one a good person is not to be subservient ‘either to Putin or to Biden’ but to be able to co-operate with both of them over issues of shared interest.

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