Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis arrived on Wednesday for a two-day visit to Budapest, where the fourth Budapest Demographic Summit is being held on Thursday. The Czech Prime Minister and his wife were personally received at the airport by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Commentators point out that this is a rare situation that proves exceptionally good relations on the Budapest-Prague line. At the same time, Polish-Czech relations are still in deep crisis due to the dispute over the Toro mine.
Babisz’s visit to Hungary and his hospitable reception by the host – writes Euroactiv – is an expression of Orbán’s support for the Czech prime minister and his ANO party ahead of parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic, which are scheduled for October 8-9. .
Euroactiv notes that Hungarian and Czech politicians have been closest allies for years. “Babys even devoted an entire chapter to Urban in his recently published book” – notes the portal. So far, the Czech prime minister has not had the support of any other European leader than Orbán. Even the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament, to which the ANO party belongs, has not officially endorsed Babisz’s candidacy, Euroactiv notes.
With a united voice against the union
The prime ministers of the Czech Republic and Hungary together visited the Hungarian-Serbian border near the Ruski crossing, which Hungary built in 2015 at the height of the migration crisis, together on Wednesday. During a joint inspection of the Hungarian-Serbian border, Orban warned that Hungary would soon face increased immigration pressure once again. He noted that many Afghans are trying to join the European Union through his country.
In 2015, Orban’s government built a 175-kilometre razor-wire fence on the Serbian border to stem the unprecedented influx of migrants into the country. That year, more than 400,000 people entered Europe via Hungary. The Hungarian authorities built a similar “wall” on the border with Croatia.
Orbán stressed Wednesday that while Hungarian fences are effective, more officers may be needed to effectively protect the border. The Hungarian prime minister said that Brussels, which encourages member states to accept refugees from Afghanistan, is a “weak link” in the Hungarian border protection policy. “Brussels is betraying Hungary and the Europeans,” Orban said. He stated that Hungary protects the whole of Europe and hoped that the European Union’s plan to bring in people from Afghanistan would be thwarted. He also argued that assistance should be provided immediately, and not bring more problems to Hungary, the Czech Republic and other EU countries. Orban also expressed gratitude for the support Hungary received in border protection from the Czech Republic and other Visegrad countries “in the worst of times”.
The Czech prime minister said the EU was dealing with “many illogical matters” such as resettling migrants, while it should take action against people smugglers and try to contain the flow of migrants from outside Europe. Babis concluded that as of 2015, the Hungarian border was the only well-functioning border in the Schengen area.
Elections in the Czech Republic
Representatives of 22 parties, movements and coalitions will participate in the parliamentary elections in October in the Czech Republic. All parties with a chance of winning seats again applied for elections. The ruling ANO movement headed by Prime Minister Andrej Babis, the anti-European Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD), the Social Democratic Party of the Czech Republic (CZSSD) and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCzM) are running on their own.
Three right-wing and conservative parties: the Civil Democratic Party (ODS), the Christian Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party (KDU-CzSL) and Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 09 (TOP09) operate under the banner of the Together Alliance (Spolu). A similar coalition was formed by the liberal formations: the Czech Pirates Party and the Mayors and Independents (STAN). They compete as a coalition of pirates and mayors.
Euroactiv, Hungary Today, Ceske Noviny, PAP
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