Report: Merkel has serious agenda for meeting with Orbán in February

Visits

Angela Merkel’s meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán scheduled for February 2 will be more than a protocol visit, according to vs.hu, which acquired the agenda. The German Chancellor’s five-hour long visit to Budapest will include a face-to-face meeting with Orbán followed by a press conference, a meeting with representatives of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (MAZSIHISZ) and a speech at the Andrássy Gyula university.

Merkel’s much-anticipated visit comes amid the Hungarian government’s growing international isolation following charges of corruption from the United States, as well as concerns over Hungary’s increasing ties with Russia and Hungary's objections to the sanctions on Russia. In the past few weeks, Orbán paid two visits to Germany, none of which included meeting with Merkel, but MP Antal Rogán has hinted at the government’s interest in improving diplomatic and economic relations with Germany, vs.hu reported.

In spite of Orbán’s cabinet’s efforts, Merkel’s visit might not be as friendly as Fidesz hopes, and this is likely due to recent legislations which have had a negative impact on German retailers in Hungary, the ad tax which has directly targeted German-based broadcaster RTL Klub, and the administrative quagmire of the Road Transportation Control System (EKAÁER). All of these topics are reported to be on the agenda as well as the governments growing ties with Russia. The ruling party is also likely to be condemned for its violation of the rule of law and human rights with regards to the media, civil organizations and minorities, vs.hu added. 

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