During an interview for the Czech Radio Universum former Czech Prime Minister, later President, Václav Klaus was asked as who would he thank at the beginning of the new year, who in 2023 had had kept the flames of hope alive. The veteran Czech politician went on to speak about his friendship with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at length.
“For me the world of hope is the world of a person with whom I have a good chance to meet, talk and exchange views with, and that is the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán”, said the Czech politician. “I have spoken to him many times, he has been to our institute in Prague, I have been to Hungary repeatedly – I go to Hungary more than I go to England, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, and so on.
The world that he has managed to create and his resistance to succumbing to this ‘EU-ness’ – I think that is absolutely admirable, and I admire him”,
said Václav Klaus. Later in the interview the Czech politician explains that by EU-ness he means to be governed from Brussels rather than being European in the classical sense.
He continued by pointing out that the Hungarian Prime Minister considers him to be a theorist and had confessed to learning a lot from Klaus’ ideas in the past. “But I admire that he is an amazing practitioner. He is dedicated to building his political party, his country, he invests in new generations”, remarked the former president. “He was lucky enough to give his famous speech in Hungary at the funeral of Imre Nagy (June 16, 1989), a victim of the ’56 revolution, when he was about 25, so he entered politics at a young age, and he had initial success. Then for a decade, a fall, but he was still young enough to re-enter politics in his youth. So, he had two-chances… He had this chance for a comeback at a relatively young age. He came back at 40… He had a certain advantage, and he capitalized on it, he took advantage of it, he did not blow it, and he is a totally unique personality in that. So that is one positive light for me”, remarked Václav Klaus.
Václav Klaus (L) with Viktor Orbán in Budapest in 2022. MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán
When asked by the reporter about the reasons why Viktor Orbán chose to walk out during the vote on Ukraine’s accession talks in Brussels in December, Václav Klaus said that in his view
the Hungarian Prime Minister has already had so many clashes with the European Union that he did not feel that this conflict should be exacerbated.
He said that Orbán had voluntarily walked out for coffee knowing that there is an “infinite space between the EU’s proclamation on Ukraine and the country actually joining the European Union”.
He pointed at Turkey’s attempts to move closer to the European integration process. Turkey has “first applied not to the EU, but to the then EEC in 1958, so it has taken them 65 years, and they are still not in the EU. Hence I would guess that Orbán is speculating that this accession will not happen”, said the Czech politician.
Via Radio Universum; Featured Image: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán