Orbán's contentious Vienna visit
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán visited Austria on Thursday. Chancellor Karl Nehammer's decision not to cancel the visit after Orbán's scandalous speech in Romania has sparked a fierce debate.
A huge mistake
The chancellor will never get rid of this stain on his image, Népszava criticises:
“Nehammer had to know who he was inviting: a politician who has repeatedly violated basic democratic values, who has opposed the EU countless times and openly represents the Russian point of view on the war. ... The fact that Nehammer invited Orbán because of a real problem - namely the increase in the number of illegal border crossings from Hungary to Austria - does not excuse his behaviour: the chancellor has made a huge mistake. He will never be able to make people forget that he invited a politician who violated a taboo to his country.”
Controversial guests must be allowed
Not the visit itself but all the pomp and circumstance is what bothers the Kleine Zeitung:
“One has to give Nehammer credit for the fact that he didn't try to beat around the bush during the press conference out of a false sense of hospitality, but took a clear position (on Putin and the sanctions). ... Pandering to Orbán with military honours makes sense from the perspective of a [former] interior minister, and perhaps also of an ÖVP leader who wants to close any gaps in Austria's right flank. The chancellor can (and must) be allowed to receive controversial guests, but the visit could have been kept on a lower level.”