Czech PM Fiala: We will discuss PM Orbán’s ‘Greater Hungary’ scarf at Visegrád Four meeting

FILE - Czech Republic's Prime Minister Petr Fiala arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, File)
By M B
4 Min Read

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said he does not doubt that at Thursday’s meeting of the Visegrád Group (V4) prime ministers, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s public appearance with a scarf depicting a map of Greater Hungary will be mentioned. The map includes a part of Slovakia, a member of the Visegrád Four, along with Poland and the Czech Republic.

“What sometimes comes out of Hungary, whether in the form of statements or actions, does not help the situation. I also noted Prime Minister Orbán’s scarf, and I have no doubt that it will be mentioned during the meeting tomorrow,” commented Fiala on Wednesday after the meeting of the Czech prime minister’s cabinet.

As of late, Czechia and Slovakia have become increasingly hostile to Hungary, and in many cases Poland as well. Under the more liberal, pro-EU governments of Czechia and Slovakia, they have attempted to marginalize Hungary.

Orbán, for his part, says that neighboring countries are reading too much into the scarf and that it merely serves as a remembrance for the ethnic Hungarians still residing in neighboring countries, who are in many cases, subject to discrimination, such as in Ukraine, where their cultural and linguistic heritage is under attack, including through legislation that bans Hungarians from using their language in official settings.

In addition to today’s Hungarian territory, the scarf also depicts parts of Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Ukraine, and Romania. Hungary lost 72 percent of its territory at the end of World War I, and much of its population, which is seen as a historical injustice inside the country until this day.

It is in Slovakia, specifically in Košice, where a meeting of the V4 prime ministers is to be held.

“I have no other information that it won’t happen,” the Czech prime minister said regarding addressing Orbán’s scarf. However, among the other issues are energy security, the war in Ukraine, and migration, which are supposed to be among the main topics of the plenary session.

“The meeting of the V4 prime ministers, which will take place tomorrow, is the first in a long time. We haven’t met for at least half a year. The V4 presidency country, Slovakia, did not call the meeting based on good reasons,” said Fiala.

However, Fiala also said that recently the four states have decided it would be good to discuss topics that concern common positions, such as migration and energy.

Hungary’s position on the Ukraine war, which calls for peace negotiations and an end to hostilities, has angered its V4 partners. Hungary has also indicated it will not send weapons to Ukraine and that sanctions on Russia should be ended before next year. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán argues that sanctions have contributed to an explosion in inflation and harmed Europeans more than Russians.

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