Trump praises Orbán

Viktor Orbán visited Donald Trump on Monday in Washington and the two of them clearly hit it off. "You've done a good job and you've kept your country safe," were the US president's words to the Hungarian prime minister. What does the meeting mean?

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Novi list (HR) /

Illustrious company

The tête-à-tête between Trump and Orbán is not the first of its kind, Novi list points out:

“The American president is working his way through the list: After the testimonies of admiration and respect for autocrats and dictators the world over - Russian President Putin, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the new Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, also known as the 'Brazilian Trump' because of his populism - now it's Orbán's turn. In his day Trump's former advisor Steve Bannon called him 'Trump before Trump'.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

The wind has changed in Washington

This is the first time in many years that Washington has welcomed Orbán, writes Gazeta Wyborcza:

“It was an historic meeting, not least because the head of the Fidesz party last visited Washington in 1998 when he became president for the first time. By the time he took power for the second time in 2010 important politicians and US diplomats had begun avoiding Budapest. The systematic dismantling of democracy and Orbán's radicalisation were clearly inconsistent with US interests. During the Hungarian prime minister's two terms in office between 2010 and 2018 not a single important US diplomat visited his country. When the democrat Barack Obama was in office the US didn't even have an ambassador in Budapest for a whole year.”

Válasz Online (HU) /

We have become the useful idiots

Instead of courting superpowers it would be better if Viktor Orbán focused on his closest allies, warns Bálint Ablonczy, editor-in-chief of the conservative news site Válasz Online:

“Hungarian foreign policy at present could be summed up thus: we boldly criticise the political system of our European allies and have made a game of blocking joint foreign policy decisions in the Union. But for the superpowers who have an interest in breaking up the EU we gleefully do anything. It's hard to resist the feeling that we have become the useful idiots of the US, China and Russia. And we're even proud of it. We worship Donald Trump and refuse to admit that his politics are a danger to existential European and Hungarian economic interests.”