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Hungary still keeps Sweeden waiting

September 21st, 2023

A left-wing pundit lambasts the House speaker who doubts whether Hungary should agree to Sweden’s accession to NATO.

In a televised interview last week, László Kövér, the speaker of Parliament said that after repeated criticism of Hungary by Swedish officials, he was not sure if Parliament should approve Sweden’s NATO membership (see BudaPost, September 19). Meanwhile, Free Europe quoted an unnamed ‘high-ranking government source’ as saying that before agreeing to Sweden’s NATO membership, Hungary needs the Swedish Prime Minister or Foreign Minister to meet their Hungarian counterparts. The Foreign Ministry swiftly dismissed that report as a ‘canard’. Parliament is reported to table the issue in October.

On the Jelen website, veteran left-wing commentator Ervin Tamás describes the attitude of the Hungarian government over the issue as ‘turbo powered resentment raised to the level of diplomacy’ – and as such, being met with a ‘mixture of shock and smiles’. He calls the process of delaying the vote on Sweden’s accession to NATO ‘surreal’ and accuses the Speaker of Parliament of making laughingstock of himself. Tamás wonders if the country’s leaders are just tolerating or even encouraging Mr Kövér in his ‘ravings’.

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