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More comments on the PM’s Băile Tușnad address

July 28th, 2023

Pro-government commentators angrily reject criticism by Romania, Slovakia and Czechia of PM Orbán’s speech at the annual Fidesz festival in Transylvania, while liberal authors accuse him of provoking neighbouring countries.

Magyar Nemzet devotes two comments taking up the defence of the Prime Minister’s words in as many days. (For the antecedents see BudaPost, July 25 and 27.) Ottó Gajdics finds it strange that the Romanian government wanted to censor PM Orbán by telling him in advance what he should not talk about in his speech. As for the Slovak objection to the prime Minister using the expression ‘torn-off regions’, he writes that today’s Slovakia used to be part of the Hungarian Kingdom until World War One and that mentioning that fact doesn’t amount to questioning Slovakia’s territorial integrity. As for the Czech protest, Gajdics quotes Prime Minister Fiala’s words whereby Czechia also ‘takes the EU’s brain, along with the financial transfers’. In Gajdics’s view, that fromula proves Mr Orbán right in saying that Czechia has succumbed ‘to federalist pressure’.

In an even more opinionated piece, Tamás Pilhál enumerates five cases when Romania switched military alliances during the 20th century to conclude that it is in light of all that that the démarches of Romanian diplomacy should be viewed.

In a totally different vein on Hirklikk, two liberal foreign policy experts lambast the Prime Minister for what they see as his habit of wantonly provoking three allies. Mátyás Eörsi, a former State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under left-liberal governments recalls that during the 1990s and the 2000s, there was national consensus on the necessity to build the best possible relations with neighbouring countries. That seems to be over by now and Hungarians will pay a high price for what he sees as a mistaken foreign policy, he warns.

On the same news site, former Foreign Minister Péter Balázs accuses the government’s foreign policy of being designed to create conflicts, while diplomacy normally seeks ways to avoid them.

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