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26th July, 2018

State secretary sees Orban growing in international stature

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has ended a record month for Hungarian diplomacy, as he has in recent weeks met the world’s most important leaders, Foreign Ministry state secretary Tamas Menczer told reporters yesterday.

He recalled that in recent weeks Orban met the German chancellor, the Chinese and Israeli prime ministers, the Russian and Turkish presidents and talked on the telephone to the American president and exchanged a few words with him at a NATO summit.

Orban was one of 16 East European leaders to meet with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Sofia, and one of only two EU leaders to attend the inauguration of Turkish President Erdogan. His meeting with Vladimir Putin materialised after Orban went to Moscow for the final of football’s World Cup.

“This means that the world’s leaders are paying attention to the Hungarian prime minister, and view him as a Central European prime minister whose opinion is important and is worth listening to,” Menczer said.

While his political opponents claim that Hungary is isolated, these meetings show that this is “baseless nonsense” and quite the opposite is true, he added.

Menczer said world leaders pay attention to Orban because his cabinet stopped the “dare to be small” policy typical of the Hungarian opposition, and Hungarian foreign policy behaves as is appropriate for a country with 1,000 years of statehood. “We respect everybody and we expect the same,” he added.

Secondly, Menczer said, the cabinet has always protected Hungarian interests, did not seek conflicts, nor did it avoid them.

The world’s leaders also pay attention to Hungary because the Orban cabinet has provided good answers to international challenges, he said, adding that Orban was the first prime minister in Europe to recognise the dangers of illegal immigration and Hungary was able to defend itself with its own resources.

These diplomatic successes may not be separated from Orban’s persona, Menczer went on: “he has been working for Hungarians for 30 years, either in government or in opposition and this continuity and consistency draw acclaim in the international arena”.

Menczer affirmed that the direction of Hungarian foreign policy will not change in the future; “it is in Hungary’s interest to have an EU based on strong nation states and to have pragmatic relations based on mutual respect with our eastern and southern partners.” (infostart.hu; origo.hu; hvg.hu; magyaridok.hu; hirado.hu; magyarhirlap.hu)
26th July, 2018

Fidesz popularity holding firm

Fidesz remains by far the most popular party in Hungary, even though most respondents feel that things are moving in a bad direction, according to a Zavecz Research poll made public on Wednesday.

Fidesz has the firm support of 33% of eligible voters for the third consecutive month, while that for Jobbik has fallen from 15% in May to 10% in July.

Another 37% of respondents did not express a party preference.

Fidesz has 55% support among decided voters, while Jobbik has 13%, down from 20% at the April 8 elections.

Some 49% of respondents said things are moving in a bad direction in Hungary, while 43% say things are going well.

Attitudes divided clearly along party lines, with 90% of Fidesz supporters saying good things are happening in Hungary, while 86-90% of opposition voters say things are getting worse. (index.hu; hvg.hu; atv.hu; 24.hu)
26th July, 2018

Putin is most admired world leader among Hungarians

Russian President Vladimir Putin is the world leader most admired by Hungarians, according to a poll conducted by Tenygyar.

Putin is followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Putin was seen by 22% of respondents as the best leader among the world’s great powers. Merkel was second with 11%, and British Prime Minister Theresa May third with 8%, ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron with 7%.

US President Donald Trump received 4% of the votes. At the bottom of the list is Turkish President Recep Erdogan with 1%.

There was a big difference between the answers provided by those with post-secondary education and those without. Of the former only 13% favoured Putin, compared to 25% of the less educated. Merkel is the most popular among those with a degree, with 23% support, while only 6% of those without higher education degrees opted for her. (atv.hu)
26th July, 2018

Three more LMP politicians punished

Another three LMP politicians have been penalised severely by the party’s ethics committee, for having stepped aside in their individual constituencies in the April elections for the benefit of opposition candidates with a better chance of winning, against party policy.

Zoltan Sagosdi received a three-year ban from holding party positions. He withdrew for the benefit of Jobbik politician Lajos Kepli in Veszprem, but in the end Kepli did not win. Sagosdi will take legal action against LMP, as he may not run for any posts, nor can he be elected an MP, an MEP or local councillor.

Andras Renk was banned from party positions for 18 months. He stepped aside in favour of Szabolcs Szabo of the Together party in a Budapest constituency. Szabo defeated Fidesz vice-president Szilard Nemeth and then joined LMP’s caucus.

Botond Doszpoly was given a one-year ban, and will be eligible to run for LMP at the 2019 local elections. Doszpoly stepped aside in a Borsod county constituency but Fidesz won there in April. (zoom.hu; hvg.hu; 24.hu)
26th July, 2018

Ader sends condolences to Greece

President Janos Ader has sent his condolences to Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos because of the large-scale wildfire that has ravaged parts of his country.

The fires have claimed nearly 100 human lives and caused enormous damage.

Ader wished a speedy recovery to the injured on behalf of the Hungarian people. (magyarhirlap.hu; origo.hu; KR)
26th July, 2018

Hungary contributes aid to Laos

Hungary is sending water purifying equipment to Laos to help the country cope following the collapse of a dam at a water works company, the Foreign Ministry announced.

The disaster claimed many human lives, hundreds of people have disappeared and about 7,000 people have lost their homes, the ministry said.

The ministry contacted local authorities so as to take part in disaster response efforts as quickly and effectively as possible. (atv.hu; index.hu; blikk.hu; 24.hu; orientpr.hu)

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