Romanian and Slovak Foreign Ministry summons Hungarian ambassador over Orbán's comments

  • Stay updated on the latest news from Hungary by signing up for the free InsightHungary newsletter

Hungarian ambassador summoned over Viktor Orban's speech 

The Slovak Foreign Ministry summoned the Hungarian ambassador after Viktor Orbán's speech in Băile Tuşnad, Romania on Saturday. The nationalist prime minister spoke about Slovakia as a "partitioned part of [Hungary]", Slovak news outlet Napunk reports.

"Czechoslovakia (and later Slovakia) or Hungary are successor states to Austria-Hungary. They could therefore not secede anything from present-day Hungary," the Slovak Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "Any direct or indirect questioning of the territorial integrity or sovereignty of Slovakia is absolutely unacceptable to us," they added.

On Monday morning, the Hungarian Ambassador was also summoned by the Romanian Foreign Ministry. Orban made a comment about Transylvania during his speech saying he’d received a note from the government in Bucharest asking him to avoid certain themes regarding Romania’s national symbols and territory. “We never claimed these were Romanian territorial units,” he said during the annual Bálványos Free Summer University and Student Camp. 

"It came as no surprise that our Bucharest ambassador was summoned to the Romanian Foreign Ministry this morning, Hungary's foreign minister Peter Szijjarto wrote on his social media page. "The tone and atmosphere of the meeting can be described as calm and polite. What was communicated by the Romanian Deputy State Secretary was in practice a repetition of the points made in the previous demarche."

Four out of ten Hungarians can "barely make ends meet", poll finds

According to a June 2023 poll on subjective poverty trends by Equilibrium Institute and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung that the income considered necessary for a modest living has risen from an average of 220,000 forints net per month to 250,000 forints net per month in the last three months, and four out of ten Hungarians do not have this much income.

According to the June results, a Hungarian citizen would typically need a net 250,000 forints per month to live a modest lifestyle, HUF 350,000 for an average lifestyle, and HUF 500,000 per month for a carefree lifestyle.

41% of respondents said their monthly income was less than HUF 250,000, and only 4% said they earned more than HUF 500,000. And 16% said their income was less than HUF 350,000. This means that 57% of Hungarians do not even have the income needed for an average standard of living.

Libri denies plans about removing LGBTQ+ books from shelves

"Libri has no plans to change its selection and has no intention of withdrawing books from stores or online," Hungary's largest bookstore chain said in a statement after Telex obtained a document indicating that Libri has assessed which of its bookshops cannot sell these publications because of the  "child protection" law. According to the law, if there is an educational or religious institution within 200 meters of a bookstore, it cannot sell any LGBTQ+ books, not even in plastic wrap.

Earlier this month Libri started wrapping books that feature LGBTQ+ characters in plastic. Libri has confirmed to multiple news outlets, that the closed packaging was a requirement from the Hungarian consumer protection authority based on the 'child protection law' that prohibits the depiction of homosexuality to minors. 

The bookseller company was recently taken over by a government-funded private foundation Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC). The head of MCC is Balázs Orbán ( no relation to the Prime Minister) strategic adviser to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Libri was recently fined 1 million forints for “improper display”. Meanwhile, Hungary’s second-largest bookstore chain, Líra Könyv was fined 12 million forints for placing Alice Oseman's Heartstopper  (that has been turned into a hit Netflix series) in its youth literature section, and for failing to wrap it in translucent packaging.

The heavily criticized child protection law is banning LGBTQ+ individuals from featuring in school educational materials. literature or TV shows for minors. The law that came into force in 2021, came under fire for conflating homosexuality with paedophilia.

Hungary's Parliament to hold extraordinary parliamentary session on Sweden's  NATO accession

The National Assembly will hold an extraordinary sitting on Monday at the initiative of 49 opposition MPs, Hungarian weekly HVG reports. House Speaker László Kövér has already presented his proposal to the House Committee for Thursday's meeting. 

The setting, initiated by 49 opposition MPs, will include six agenda topics, including the ratification of Sweden's NATO accession. Fidesz-KDNP has not yet said whether they will boycott the session but they are expected to be absent on Monday.

Uralkodj magadon!
Új kommentelési szabályok érvényesek 2019. december 2-től. Itt olvashatod el, hogy mik azok, és itt azt, hogy miért vezettük be őket.