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Orbán calls war in Ukraine a military operation at meeting with Putin
The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti has published a short video of the Vladimir Putin - Viktor Orban meeting in Beijing. In the Russian-language footage, Putin first talks about the fact that even in these difficult times, there are European states with which relations have not been broken, even though it is not easy to maintain them. Viktor Orbán was the only EU politician to have attended and spoken at the One Belt, One Road forum in Beijing.
During the bilateral meeting, Orbán said he met the Russian President thirteen times since 2009, but never in such complex circumstances. The reason for this is the "military operation", he said, referring to the war in Ukraine and "the Western sanctions that go with it".
On Thursday morning, ambassadors of NATO member states and Sweden's ambassador to Budapest, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. The meeting was prompted by growing concern among NATO members about Hungary's deepening relations with Russia. "If we have legitimate security concerns, we expect them to be taken seriously," Ambassador David Pressman told RFE. "It is worrying that Hungary has chosen to engage with Putin in this way. So is the language used by the Prime Minister to describe Putin's war in Ukraine. Both deserved to be discussed," he added.
They sought to rally for Palestinians, not Hamas: Police halt demonstration following Orbán's orders
A pro-Palestinian demonstration was banned in Budapest, scheduled for October 13. The event was expected to have around 300 participants in front of the Foreign Ministry in Budapest. Aref Mohamed, the president of the Association of Palestinians Living in Hungary, was set to be the keynote speaker, and his speech focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing the condemnation of violence against civilians on both sides, Telex reports.
There were concerns raised by the Budapest Police Headquarters due to the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, which had led to demonstrations in various European cities. The police cited the "Day of Wrath" called by Hamas's founder, Khalid Mashal, as a reason for banning the demonstration, as it called for support for Hamas and protest against Jews. However, the organizers of the Budapest event distanced themselves from Hamas, affirming their solidarity with Palestinian civilians and commemorating their victims.
The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) questioned the police's decision, arguing that the ban was based on assumptions rather than concrete evidence of the event promoting terrorism. HCLU stated that the event aimed to show solidarity with Palestinian civilians, not to support terrorist organizations.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán issued a statement that sympathy demonstrations for terrorists are not acceptable in Hungary and could be considered a terrorist threat. The HCLU emphasized that the police should make decisions based on the law and the circumstances surrounding the event, rather than responding to political statements.
Hungarian government signs cooperation agreement with China's largest bank
"Hungary wants to become an economic meeting point for capital and high-tech from the West and the East, as well as a regional financial center. The agreement confirms that the two sides are working towards ICBC opening a branch in Hungary," said Márton Nagy, Minister for Economic Development, after signing a cooperation agreement with the largest Chinese bank in Beijing. According to a statement from the Ministry of Economic Development, the document, signed by the CEO of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, specifically highlights the importance of financing infrastructure and green projects and establishing the entire supply chain of Chinese companies in Hungary.
In addition to Márton Nagy, Viktor Orbán also held separate talks with the bank's chief executive, Chen She-qing. According to a press release issued after the meeting, the Hungarian Prime Minister acknowledged ICBC's role in expanding the Hungarian economy and trade and Sino-Hungarian trade relations.
Hungarian inflation remains the highest in the EU
Hungary continued to lead the European Union in inflation in September, for the eleventh month in a row, Eurostat data shows. Hungary's annual inflation in September was 12.2 percent, the EU's statistics office said, in line with the Hungarian statistical office. It also shows that for September, Hungary remained the last in the EU to have double-digit inflation.
Meanwhile, the EU average has fallen below 5 percent - like Hungary, it started to fall in January and has been lower every month since - and the eurozone average is 4.3 percent, the lowest since October 2021. Hungarian inflation is already lower than the 7 percent expected by the end of the year in twenty member states. Hungary is followed by Romania (9.2%), Slovakia (9%), the Czech Republic (8.3%) and Poland (7.7%). The EU average fell to 4.9%, and the eurozone average was 4.3% in September. Several Member States, Finland (3%), Greece (2.4%), Belgium (0.7%), and Denmark (0.6%) have now seen inflation rates at or below 3%.