5 points about Viktor Orbán's visit to Germany
1. Viktor Orbán must have been disappointed if he expected that German economic actors, who had previously - together with German politicians - put business interests before security interests and values, would warmly welcome his anti-sanctions stance. Instead, Philipp Hausmann, the head of the German Eastern Business Association, made it clear that the German economy unconditionally supports sanctions against Russia. He also expressed that a significant number of German economic actors active in Hungary are also suffering from the rule of law deficiencies, which seriously threaten German-Hungarian economic relations and thus the Hungarian economy and public finances.
2. Not only economic actors gave a hard time for Hungarian PM. He certainly had a difficult meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, which is indicated by the fact that the joint press conference was cancelled, a rare exception in German politics, which guarantees the free operation of the press. It was probably the best solution for both parties.
3. The meeting and the cancelled press conference also send the message that, although the current German government is committed at the level of declarations to tackling rule of law problems, it still seems to be following Angela Merkel's strategy of leaving the issue for the European Union to resolve, while Germany is not engaging bilaterally in a conflict with Hungary, as other EU Member States are doing.
4 It also seems that despite Fidesz's departure from the European People's Party, Viktor Orbán and his party may still have allies in the CDU, as indicated by the meeting with Christian Democrat MPs in Berlin and German conservative party foundations' support to Fidesz-close think tanks and GONGOs in Hungary.
5. Although Fidesz's messages have much in common with the far-right AfD, which continues to be treated as a pariah in German politics, and there was rapprochement between the two parties in the past, the AfD now seems to have found a Hungarian partner in Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland), as indicated by the speech of Gunnar Lindemann, AfD member of the Berlin Landtag, at the party's congress on 24 September.
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