Orbán's son goes on secret mission in Africa

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Gáspár Orbán was involved with Hungarian military mission in Chad, investigation reveals

Gáspár Orbán, son of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, attempted to conceal his role in a forthcoming Hungarian military undertaking in Africa's Sahel region - investigative outlet Direkt36 and Le Monde reported. The report prompted the Hungarian government to acknowledge his involvement. Despite attempts to expunge Gáspár Orbán's presence from official Hungarian imagery during various visits to the Sahel, evidence surfaced, compelling an official admission of his participation.

The Hungarian PM has refrained from confirming his son's engagement in the mission. During Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó's visit to Chad's presidential palace in N'Djamena, one of the attendees wore a distinctive green fedora and a surgical mask. walked away from the delegation, towards the garden. This is just one instance where the MP's son used his mask to hide his face during official Sahel meetings. Gáspár Orbán was identified through a media investigation utilizing facial recognition software.

The PM's son's trajectory has been multifaceted, transitioning from a professional football career in 2014 to teaching football to children in Uganda upon relocating to Africa. On his return to Hungary, he led the religious congregation Felház. In 2019, Orbán pivoted to a military career, reportedly earning a ministry scholarship to pursue studies at the esteemed British Royal Sandhurst Military Academy. While the Hungarian defense ministry affirmed Orbán's current officer status, the exact rank remains undisclosed. He purportedly attended six meetings between May 2023 and January 2024, integral to the Sahel mission's preparation. Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky recently acknowledged Orbán's involvement in the Chad mission.

Donald Tusk says Orban is betraying Europe by supporting Putin

Poland's commitment to stand by Ukraine received a resolute affirmation from Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk during his visit to Kyiv on Monday. Tusk accused Viktor Orbán of betraying Europe, declaring ongoing military and political support for Ukraine, Euractive reports.  In a meeting with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Tusk pledged Polish readiness to provide equipment and supplies, emphasizing joint investments in arms and ammunition production.

 “Those who silently support Putin are betraying Europe in every way and will be remembered and not forgiven,” Tusk said, adding that the EU will find a way to secure assistance for Ukraine's EU integration and emergency aid amid ongoing conflict - with or without Orbán's support. EU leaders are set to convene on February 1 for a special summit to address the matter.

In response to Tusk's remarks, FM Szijjártó accused The Polish PM of displaying a "complete lack of respect" by criticizing the Hungarian government's stance and advocating for a "pro-war" stance.

EU agrees on Ukraine aid as Orbán backs down from veto

EU leaders agreed on a £54 billion aid package for Ukraine on Thursday, securing financial support for Kyiv over the next four years and weeks of resistance from far-right Hungarian PM Orban. The package represents a significant uplift for Ukraine, averting potential shortages of funds in the imminent weeks that could have impacted salary payments, pensions, and essential services. 

Fotó: Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán/MTI/MTVA

Orbán has chosen the realm of social media to proclaim "triumph" at the summit. Adding Hungary "successfully negotiated a control mechanism," The Hungarian PM emphasized its role in ensuring the utilization of funds earmarked for Ukraine. He expressed satisfaction in obtaining assurance that Hungary's financial contributions will not go to Ukraine. 

Hungary's birth rate at historic low despite 'family-friendly policies

According to KSH ( Hungary's Central Statistical Office), the number of births is at a historic low in Hungary with 85,200 registered births in 2023. This marks a decline from the previous all-time low in 2011, with 88,049 births. April 2023 saw the lowest monthly count, with 6,387 births, while the number of deaths reached 127,200. The total fertility rate, indicating the average number of children a woman is expected to have during her lifetime, experienced a drop from 1.52 in 2022 to 1.50. The highest rate under Orbán's recent term occurred in 2021 at 1.59. 

Despite the Orbán government's claims of improving conditions for big families, including measures such as tax exemptions and preferential loans, critics argue that these policies exacerbate inequality, primarily benefiting higher-income families. The benefits are dependent on marital status, with severe penalties in the event of divorce, and Hungary's discriminatory denial of LGBT+ marriage and adoption further worsens the already existing inequality.