The Hungarian government has slammed the “Obama-era State Department elite” for doing “grave harm to Hungarian-U.S. relations”, which will take years to repair.
Dr Zoltán Kovács, Hungary’s Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, made the remarks after former Deputy State Secretary Thomas Melia gave an interview to Hungarian weekly Heti Világgazdagság, in which the American claimed Hungary has been going in “the wrong direction” since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s conservative government came to power in 2010. “We are just as frustrated as many Hungarians that the government has made the country less democratic, silencing critics, be it NGOs, journalists or others,” alleged Melia.
“He apparently missed the irony in his making this claim while giving an interview with an opposition-leaning magazine that happens to be one of the mostly widely read weeklies in the country,” Kovács observed acidly.
“The Hungarian voters swept the Orbán Government to power in the elections of 2010 with the largest popular mandate any political party has ever received since the fall of Communism,” the Hungarian recalled. “That was followed by another landslide victory in 2014 and a commanding popular mandate for another two-thirds majority.
“But Melia knows better than the Hungarian voter. The former executive of the National Democratic Institute, an NGO loosely affiliated with the Democratic Party, can barely conceal his wish for ‘an opposition that is capable of winning’ and patronizingly informs the reader that ‘it is the task of Hungarian voters and politicians to organize a better alternative’.”
Dr Zoltán Kovács slammed Melia – “a man who cannot speak or read Hungarian and, as far as I know, has never lived in Hungary” – as a member of the “old, liberal cabal once part of the State Department,” which rely “on biased and politically-motivated sources for their information about Hungary and [have] lost sight of the real issues.”
Indeed, while Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was one of the few European leaders to buck the EU consensus and welcome the election of President Donald Trump as a leader who shared their opposition to mass migration, support for strong borders, and embrace of a patriotic brand of conservatism which puts ordinary citizens first – and President Trump has expressed mutual admiration for as a “strong and brave” leader – the State Department has continued to adopt a hostile posture towards the Central European country, courting controversy with $700,000 media fund widely regarded as an attempt to bolster anti-government forces.
“Here’s what’s sad: According to Melia, the ‘message of U.S. diplomacy to the people of Hungary is that the USA and Americans are their friends’,” Kovács continued. “Unfortunately, no. The message is that you have no respect for the free will of Hungarians. You look down on the Hungarian voter. And your so-called help comes off as condescending and ideologically-driven meddling in our affairs. “Thomas Melia, you and your cabal have done grave harm to Hungarian-U.S. relations. It will take years to repair them.”