Orbán’s provocative remarks in Romania

Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s right-wing nationalist prime minister, has once again stoked tensions between his country and Romania with his traditional speech at the Bálványos Free Summer University in Transylvania. Addressing citizens of the Hungarian minority, he poked fun at Romania’s political system and mocked the EU. His speech elicits annoyed comments from the press in both countries.

Transtelex (RO) /

The locals are the biggest losers

Orbán is unscrupulously fuelling tensions between Hungarians and Romanians, the Hungarian-language portal Transtelex criticises:

“When Orbán weaves into his speech that Székely Land and Transylvania are not Romanian territories, he shows that he is not in the least interested in what he leaves behind him apart from the cloud of dust from his car. ... What remains, beyond the shouting of the Romanian extremists [the protesters who demonstrated against Orbán during his visit] and the Hungarian visitors, are the Hungarian minority and the Romanians for whom this region really is their home. They are the biggest losers of the conflicts and games of politicians and lunatics.”

Hunor Tőkés
Adevărul (RO) /

Diplomatic own goal for Bucharest

It was counterproductive of Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu to attempt to ban Orbán from addressing certain topics, Adevărul writes in annoyance:

“Through the Foreign Ministry he sent Orbán a list of what he was allowed to say and what not. Naturally Orbán couldn’t resist the opportunity to publicly mock the official paper from the Foreign Ministry. And he’s right to scoff. If Hungary’s prime minister is not of the opinion that he should refrain from making statements against the EU and his host neighbouring state, it’s no use handing him a piece of paper telling him what to say. It’s also a diplomatic blunder, which Orban has skilfully exploited.”

Stefan Vlaston
Népszava (HU) /

Nothing new from Hungary

Népszava takes issue with all the hackneyed phrases:

“This year all we got was the same tired old rubbish: bashing of the European Union, which has fuelled Orbán’s system for twelve years and also turned the Orbán family into multimillionaires; hints about leaving the EU; LGBTQ fear-mongering; a senseless peace mantra; glorification of China ... and the threat not to expect anything good this year. This was the vision of the world in 2023 presented by the man who supposedly steers the country with a firm hand. It was more like the vision of a ship drifting without a compass.”

Miklós Hargitai