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Former liberal leader fears Hungary’s isolation

May 23rd, 2023

In a long article, Viktor Orbán’s erstwhile friend, co-founder of Fidesz and then opponent as a liberal leader calls on the Prime Minister to sit down for talks with President Zelensky of Ukraine and negotiate with EC President Ursula von der Leyen.

On Index Gábor Fodor, who left Fidesz in 1993 to join the liberal SZDSZ party where he was elected party chairman 15 years later, finds it alarming that Poland, Hungary’s former staunchest ally is now seeking close cooperation with Romania instead. He even doubts whether Hungary can count on Poland’s support in the European Council if sanctions are to be declared on Hungary because of rule of law concerns. He also criticises the government for the harsh rhetoric it uses against various European institutions. Fodor agrees with the Prime Minister that a new power centre is emerging within the western alliance, shaped by Poland and the Baltic states, and deems it important for Hungary to be on good terms with those countries. A major shift in both rhetoric and policies is needed, he suggests, and the first steps should include a visit by Mr Orbán to Kyiv to meet President Zelensky, and the start of negotiations with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in order to nudge Hungary’s relations with Ukraine, Poland, the EU and the US back on track.

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