Orbán's visit to Prague harms Czech democracy, writes Hungarian press

The meeting between Andrej Babiš and Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán is detrimental to the Czech Republic, writes Hungarian paper Népszava.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 02.10.2021 16:43 (updated on 02.10.2021) Reading time: 1 minute

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán's visit to the Czech Republic earlier this week harmed Czech democracy, Hungarian daily Népszava writes today in an article cited by the German Press Agency.

Only next weekend will be known whether it helped the election campaign of his Czech counterpart Andrej Babiš, writes Népszava. Elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, will be held on October 8-9.

"When it comes to democracy, the Czech Republic cannot be compared to Hungary," writes Tamás Rónay for the Hungarian paper.

"Democratic institutions are working well there (in the Czech Republic) and it is hard to imagine, for instance, that we would be investigating our prime minister for abuse of EU money," Rónay continues, hinting at the prosecution of Babiš on suspicion of EU subsidy fraud.

The notion that public media news in Hungary could be independent and more trustworthy than news on private TV is rather futuristic, he adds.

"Despite that, Czech PM Andrej Babiš is trying to learn something from his Hungarian friend. Yes, they are friends, as it turned out during Viktor Orbán's visit to the Czech Republic," Rónay writes.

"Babiš invited the Hungarian PM [to Prague] directly before the parliamentary elections next week to add some flair to his election campaign. It will become apparent whether Orbán helped Babis's campaign only next week. But it is clear now that his visit was not good for Czech democracy."

Orbán came to the Czech Republic on Wednesday. After talks with Babiš in Prague, both PMs left for Ústí nad Labem, north Bohemia, where Babiš leads his party's election candidates.

Orbán stressed that he would not like to interfere in the Czech elections.

The Hungarian PM said he had arrived in the Czech Republic to underscore the importance of the Visegrad Four group, which is comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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