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Slovakian press calls Orbán impolite

Several Slovakian newspapers have criticized Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán for being impolite at the V4 summit in Budapest yesterday. Orbán has been scolded, among others, for hesitating to shake hands with Slovakian Prime Minister Iveta Radičova, not offering her with a seat and not assuring a separate room for the press conference, the Slovakian press said.

“Even the Hungarian media realized that Orbán had not brought his best on Tuesday,” Slovakian liberal daily Sme reads. “Already at the reception of the invited prime ministers, he seriously violated diplomatic protocol. He had a face-to-face meeting only with the Polish prime minister with whom he has the best relations.” The paper noted that Orbán failed to offer Radičova a seat at the beginning of the meeting, and someone else had to pull the chair out for her.

Slovakia’s Hungarian language newspaper Új Szó resented the Hungarian team’s actions at the meeting: Hungarian journalists were not informed about the separate meetings, and they relied on the help of their Slovakian colleagues.

“Radicova gave an interview standing at the corridor, and the Hungarian team of Orbán seemed to be surprised when hearing that she wanted to give an interview to the Hungarian public television,” the Új Szó wrote.

In a press release reacting to the accusations, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry said that “as opposed to what has been published in the Slovakian press, PM Viktor Orbán has naturally seen all four PMs at personal meetings.”

“The bi-lateral meeting of the Hungarian and the Slovakian prime minister had a hearty atmosphere and took longer than planned,” the press release said. “After the meeting, Radičova gave an interview to one of the Hungarian public televisions in a separate room of the parliament.” (BBJ, Index)