According to E. Sylvester Vizi, “Hungary has many friends around the world.” The Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Friends of Hungary Foundation expressed the sentiment during today’s Kossuth Radio’s ’Good Morning Hungary’ program. The former President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences talked about the Foundation’s second international conference entitled “Hungary At First ‘Site’” which was held this week, giving journalists the opportunity to experience Hungarian politics, economics and culture first hand. During the state radio’s interview, he also gave insight into the work of the Friends of Hungary Foundation, publisher of Hungary Today and Ungarn Heute.
Hungary is a worldwide nation, Vizi said, and the country has friends all over the world– not just Hungarian–but also foreigners who are interested in Hungarian culture, history and politics. He added that Hungarians can be found everywhere and that the Foundation has connections to more than 90 different organizations for Hungarians.
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Over the last three days the foundation welcomed 11 journalists from 6 countries and aimed to give them a special experience by offering them an opportunity to meet with the Hungarian decision makers, listen to their presentations and find out if Hungary is a ’friend’ of the EU and NATO, the Chair said.
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The journalists were allowed to ask key players of the Hungarian political scene anything they desired. They were also able to see a side of Hungary other than the one portrayed in foreign media. According to E. Sylvester Vizi, the attending journalists are often surprised by how different this picture is from the one they previously had.
Vizi said that personal experience strongly influences how one judges a country. “We learned this after the first conference when many positive articles written by the journalists who had been here appeared abroad.”
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Participants of the conference work for various well-known media outlets around the world, including The American Conservative, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Fox News Channel, National Review and Kristeligt Dagblad (Denmark).
He also added that the Foundation works hard to ensure that foreigners have a positive image of Hungary and Hungary Today. Our sister news portal Ungarn Heute is constantly reporting on politics and sharing the country’s economic, cultural and athletic successes.
The former president of the Academy also talked about the second volume of the book ’Visszidensek,’ which will be published in November. The book presents interviews with Hungarians who recently returned to Hungary from abroad.
Vizi mentioned that the Foundation organizes a meeting for the members every year. During the annual Friends of Hungary Conference, President Áder greeted the members of the Foundation and Prime Minister Orbán was in attendance. The PM often gives a speech; in fact, he has spoken at four of the five conferences.