14/05/2019 15:03

Mesterházy: No need to Overestimate Orbán-Trump Meeting

Orbán could profit from his meeting with Trump in the EP election campaign, since he has not been received by a US President for nearly 20 years, but his US visit should not be overrated, said MSZP politician Attila Mesterházy in the program “Start”on channel ATV on Tuesday.
In his view, his visit was "protocol-like, routine," fitting into the line in which the US President consecutively welcomed Central Eastern European leaders, among them Orbán as thelast, to express his growing interest in the region.
However, "it is no coincidence that specifics were not mentioned after the meeting," because they had announced a purchase of arms or an energetic move favoring the US party, then “it would have been easy to interpret this meeting as one that had been bought for money: nothing else, but a photo opportunity that they paid celebrity for ” Mesterházy said.
Obviously, it worked out well for Orbán, and it can be a domestic political advantage that Trump did not criticize him with as much as "half a sentence", although there is a constant leakage from lower diplomatic levels that the US government in fact has criticism against him.
"It is quite sure" that Fidesz will try to use the visit to "show that Orbán is not isolated in international politics, for, as you can see,  important world leaders receive him and say good things about him, but in fact, the perception of Orbán has not changed in Europe or America," said the former MSZP president.
As a result of his work in NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, he has also been informed that the situation has not changed either in the US Congress or among journalists, he added.
Now, however, in the finals of the EP election campaign, obviously every party will focus on mobilization; "I too would like as many left-wing voters to go and vote on opposition parties as possible."
“And if Trump said about Orbán what a strong a leader he was, why does Orbán never take on any debate,” he asked adding that "Orbán seems to always run away," most recently from a debate initiated by the socialist top candidate Frans Timmermans.
"Of course, everything is possible: democracy can be built, the constitution can be rewritten and money can be stolen from EU funds, and a government can be re-elected nonetheless; still, it is not normal for a politician to be so cowardly that he would not accept these calls for debate. ” Rather, it shows how democratic the approach is, "if you can even talk about such a thing in connection to Orbán," he said.
The EP election indeed has a big stake: the question is whether the populists can win or the pro-Europe forces, such as MSZP.