Czech Foreign Minister joins uproar over Hungarian Prime Minister's revisionist scarf

Viktor Orbán brushed aside the ruckus over the controversial choice of scarf showing Hungary's former territories.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 23.11.2022 11:22:00 (updated on 23.11.2022) Reading time: 1 minute

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is continuing to be the target of strong criticism from Czech and Eastern European leaders after his wearing of a controversial, historically revisionist scarf last Sunday.

Attending a football match, Orbán was recorded wearing a scarf depicting the territory of Greater Hungary.

This represented Hungary before the post-World War I Trianon peace treaty between the Allied and Associated Powers and Hungary, which saw chunks of its territory become part of Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Austria, Croatia, and Serbia. 

The nationalistic concept of "Greater Hungary" primarily refers to revisionist ideas in Hungary. Its proponents demand the return of all territories that were taken away after the 1920 Treaty of Trianon.

Strong criticism all round

Senior politicians have strongly criticized the Hungarian leader. Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Rastislav Káčer voiced unease, drawing on historical precedent. “We saw where such sentiments and plans led in 1939, and we see it live today in Ukraine in the form of Russian aggression,” he said on Facebook.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský joined in on the objections, and labeled the provocation “unacceptable." "I fully understand the irritation of our Slovak and other friends,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has called on Hungary’s ambassador to Ukraine to explain the situation; Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said earlier “revisionist moods in Hungary" were "not in line with European values.”

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Romania, which has a large Hungarian minority in Transylvania, also strongly criticized the act. Romanian Member of European Parliament Alin Mituta said it was “a revisionist gesture that places Orbán alongside Putin, who also dreams of changing borders.”

Orbán responded indirectly on Facebook yesterday, seemingly brushing the issue aside. “Football is not politics. Let's not get involved in something that isn't there,” he wrote.

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