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Further comments on US ambassador’s Pride address

June 21st, 2023

A pro-government commentator dismisses the ambassador’s comments as baseless, while a left-wing columnist believes that the government is senselessly confrontational in its foreign relations.

In Magyar Hírlap, József K. Horváth rejects the statement made by US ambassador David Pressman at the Budapest Pride Festival in which the diplomat said that LGBT people were under attack in Hungary. (For the antecedents, see BudaPost, June 20.) On the contrary, Horváth writes, nobody harasses LGBT activists in this country and the Pride Festival itself is proof of the freedom LGBT people enjoy. He also mentions that the ambassador’s words were printed verbatim in Magyar Nemzet, the main pro-government daily, although Mr Pressman had predicted that such a thing would never happen. Finally, Horváth writes that compulsory migrant quotas and the inflation caused by Western sanctions on Russia disprove the ambassador’s words, according to which Hungary is not under attack from outside forces.

In Népszava, on the other hand, Gábor Horváth suggests that the conflicts between Hungary and its international allies are mainly generated by statements made by the Hungarian side for domestic propaganda consumption. What proved to be effective as a propaganda tool inside Hungary backfires in diplomacy, he maintains. As an example, he calls the reactions to the statements made by the US ambassador to Budapest hysterical, adding that as such, they only corroborate what the ambassador said. Horváth enumerates several NATO countries plus Ukraine which are growing increasingly hostile towards Hungary. He believes that Hungary needs those countries much more than they need her, and therefore predicts that the consequences will be painful.

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