Fico and Orbán: a new alliance against Brussels?

The Slovakian and Hungarian prime ministers, Robert Fico and Viktor Orbán, have reaffirmed their special bond after a meeting in Budapest. The relationship between the two countries has never been as good as it is today, Orbán said. Commentators discuss what unites the two and what divides them.

Open/close all quotes (SK) /

Not in Slovakia's interest takes Fico to task:

“Fico is trying to step into the shoes of former Polish prime minister Jarosław Kaczyński and create a tandem of unruly states in the European Union with Hungary. But it is not in our interest to form a tandem with Viktor Orbán, who likes to appear in public wearing a Greater Hungary scarf which depicts Slovakian territory as belonging to Hungary. ... Our national interest in such a situation is to look for allies, preferably in the European Union. ... Slovakia's interests coincide with the interests of the EU, not with those of Orbán.”

Pravda (SK) /

Turning towards Moscow

Fico is on the way from the European Union to a Hungarian union, laments Pravda:

“Both prime ministers are united by their opposition to Brussels and their affection for Moscow. The date for the meeting in Budapest was carefully chosen. The European Parliament is debating the state of the rule of law in Hungary this week. ... The day after the summit in Budapest, MEPs adopted a resolution criticising the amendment of the penal code in Slovakia. ... This is a clear signal for the European Commission, but also for other member states and the European Council. And there, both prime ministers have a right of veto. They can cover each other's backs.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

Things becoming clearer

Hospodářské noviny sums up the meeting:

“During his visit to Budapest, Fico, who has not yet blocked any common positions in EU negotiations, moved closer to Orbán, who is more or less seen as a Russian Trojan horse in the EU. The EU summit on 1 February will show whose side Robert Fico and his government are really on. For anyone who was still uncertain, after this visit to Budapest their doubts will have diminished.”

hvg (HU) /

Fico is no Kaczyński

Fico is not a strong ideological ally for Orbán, writes hvg:

“Orbán had an easier time with Poland because Jaroslaw Kaczyński made it a cardinal principle to lead Poland as far away from the EU as possible. ... Whereas the Poles joined forces with Orbán for ideological reasons, in Fico's case the basis for the willingness to cooperate is entirely different. ... Since the Slovakian prime minister's election victory at the end of September it has become clear that Fico is pursuing a far more cautious policy than his Hungarian counterpart.”