Undemocratic Orbán in Prague

Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy last year didn’t get a great deal of coverage in the Czech media, in part because it was online. The event would have received even less attention if Hungary and Turkey hadn’t been kept off the invitation list. The two “undemocratic” countries were indeed invited to the meeting of the European Political Community in Prague last week. French Pres. Emmanuel Macron even made a point of highlighting his visit with Viktor Orbán. The Hungarian PM was booed by onlookers as he arrived at the Castle, but he seemed to relish it, remarking with irony, “They like me.” Orbán met in Prague individually with Miloš Zeman, Václav Klaus and Andrej Babiš. Orbán’s chosen president, Katalin Novák, will also attend a Visegrad meeting with Zeman in Bratislava today. Orbán clearly thinks things are going in his direction. From the Czech standpoint, an important milestone will come when more companies start turning to Hungary because of natural gas. The Fiala government will have to decide whether to ignore them, shame them or praise them for increasing cooperation within Visegrad.

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